At times, it doesn’t take much to lure us off our path of healthy eating habits. Maybe a stressful or busy week at work, a vacation, a party, a difficult life event, or a big holiday…it happens to all of us.  Both the physical and mental impacts of not eating well can be felt in a lot of ways.

Your body may be feeling tired, sluggish, and with little energy. Your mind may be feeling guilty, frustrated, or unmotivated.

Even when you’re ready to return to your healthy eating habits, the hardest part can be knowing where to start.

The Importance Of Having Self-Compassion

It’s important to have compassion for yourself and forgive yourself for making these choices.

Guilt is a common feeling after indulging or going through a period of poor eating decisions. But, you have to remind yourself that this is normal, common, and part of the human experience. At Cohesive Therapy NYC, we understand that “Pobody’s Nerfect,” as the saying goes. 

It’s natural to occasionally indulge for a special occasion. It’s natural to use food as a source of comfort during stressful or difficult times. When we are not in our normal routines, it can also be hard to be mindful of our eating habits. Acknowledge how this makes you feel. Forgive yourself for these choices. Commit to moving forward and prioritizing your health and well being.

Start Immediately

It may feel daunting when you’re trying to get back into healthy eating habits. What’s important is that you have decided you are ready. 

Starting anything that isn’t necessarily “fun” can be really challenging in itself. But you can get back to healthy eating immediately once you have made this choice. Even if days or weeks have gone by, you can get back on track at any time of the day. 

As soon as you’ve decided that you’re ready, start with an activity to mark this beginning. Make an affirmation to yourself that you are committed to doing this. Write it out and place it anywhere and everywhere that you can see it! Go for a walk around the park. Take the long route to get your mail. If you are feeling really motivated and energized by your decision, take a long jog! 

All that matters is that you get up and move. Make sure you drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep. Even these small steps can make a big difference in how you feel the next day.

Ignore the Scale (Yes, Ignore It!)

While you may be curious about your change in weight at this point, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not as important as how you feel.

We often get too focused on the number on the scale, which can reflect the amount of salt or water we consumed, and not necessarily just weight gain. If weighing yourself is going to cause you to feel more distressed and disheartened, it is important to be aware of this and avoid the scale. 

Focusing on this number may only add to your feelings of guilt or frustration. For those of you who have self-esteem issues tied to your weight, it’s even more important that you stay away for the time being. Instead, focus on how you feel day after day, from sleep quality, to your energy level, to your digestive health… I bet you’ll be amazed at how eating healthier can improve how you feel in just a few days. 

As you begin to notice the positive impacts that healthy eating has on your mood, energy level, and overall feelings of well being, you’ll realize that these changes are even more important than the number on the scale.

Don’t Try to Offset the Splurge

It can be tempting to try and make up for your over-indulgences by starving or restricting yourself the following day, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to practice healthy eating habits, which includes eating regularly.

As mentioned above, you have to first forgive and have compassion for yourself before moving forward and focusing on the present and the future. You cannot change what you did yesterday, but can only control the choices you make now. 

Plan Something Fun

It’s so very easy to wallow in self-pity, guilt, or disappointment following your overeating or indulgence, so instead make fun plans to look forward to.

While we all know that much of socializing revolves around eating, you can get creative with thinking of fun activities to do that don’t focus on food. For example, call a friend and make plans to do something fun that doesn’t involve going to a restaurant or having a meal together. Talking about it together can open up your creativity vaults.

If this resonates with you, we can help to support and guide you through the process of getting back into a routine with your healthy eating habits. 


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    About the author(s)

    Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.

    About Cohesive Therapy NYC

    At Cohesive Therapy NYC, we believe that you have an immense amount of inner strength and resilience, even if it is yet to be discovered. Cohesive Therapy NYC is a private group psychotherapy practice in New York City that focuses on treating adults who struggle with Anxiety, Trauma, Chronic Illness, and the adult impact of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). Cohesive Therapy NYC therapists see clients all throughout New York State (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, and statewide) using online therapy and are also available for in-person visits in their NYC offices, located at 59 East 54th Street, New York, NY 10022. We specialize in helping people who are dealing with anxiety, relationship issues, chronic illness, and digestive and adult trauma related to childhood family dynamics. We all deserve a chance to be well and have support.