Recovery Strategies to Save Your Healthy Diet

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Among the most important and effective tools for a sustainable healthy life are recovery strategies. Everyone who struggles to lose or maintain a healthy weight needs to discover how to climb back up from a fall. Something inevitably makes you lose control and overeat. This diet “failure” almost always becomes a brick wall at the end of the diet road because it’s demoralizing and discouraging. But you have to change your mind in order to change your lifestyle. Remember, “Nothing is a diet deal breaker!” Rather than thinking in terms of a temporary goal, think of the long-term goal of becoming a healthy eater. When you set your sights on the long term, you can recover more quickly from any missteps.

My recovery strategies work because they are not weird, extreme measures. Many clients over the years have told me they tried fasts, juice cleanses and skipping meals after a binge, which only set you up for failure. My strategies keep you on the track of clean, healthy, three-meal-a-day living. They’re simple, structured and they work. Here are the three most effective techniques my clients have used to bounce back from a diet fail:

1. The Protein Day: A Protein Day is a super-effective tool that will help you re-set your eating patterns. It’s nothing complicated but it’s surprisingly effective. My clients especially like to use it after a trip or a vacation where they’ve overindulged. A Protein Day is just what it says: a day where you eat primarily protein. For example:

    • Breakfast: 2 eggs, any style, or a 4 to 6-egg-white vegetable omelet
    • Lunch: a grilled chicken, fish or any protein over greens with a very, very light dressing.
    • Optional snack: an orange of ½ a banana
    • Dinner: same as lunch plus perhaps some steamed vegetables.
    • No snack, no dairy, no alcohol

2. A Volume-Controlled Day: This is simply a day in which all your meals are portion controlled. It can help you recover from a pizza binge or all-night party, and may be easier to follow for some people than a Protein Day. It helps you get your volume back on track, recenters you and gets you back to three healthy meals a day. No thinking and no overeating! Here’s an example:

      • Breakfast: Greek Yogurt topped with ¼ cup high fiber cereal and an apple
      • Lunch: 2 slices wheat bread, 4 slices of turkey, lettuce, tomato, mustard
      • Optional snack: 1 apple or orange or small banana
      • Dinner: a frozen dinner under 400 calories for men and 300 for women; if you are eating out, have a baked potato with salsa and mustard and two sides of steamed green veggies
      • No dairy, no alcohol, 8-10 cups of water

    3. The Veggie Night: Want to jump-start your diet week? Try a Veggie Night on Sunday night. Or perhaps you had an over-indulgence at a barbeque or picnic. A Veggie Night will re-set your eating clock and get you back to clean and mean. Like a Protein Day, a Veggie Night is just what it sounds like: a night where your dinner is comprised of simply vegetables. Some of my clients routinely use Veggie Nights one night a week as a matter of routine. Others reserve their Veggie Nights as a re-set tool or when you get home very late and just want something simple and fast. A Veggie Night dinner might be a baked white or sweet potato and two measured cups of steamed vegetables of your choice. This meal can be on your plate in under ten minutes if you use your trusty microwave.

       

       


      Heather Bauer, RD CDN
      Heather Bauer, RD CDN

      Author



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