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Get back on the healthy-living track

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Restart your health & fitness

Whether you’ve been thrown off because of your work schedule or because of a bad breakup, falling off the healthy-living train can be surprisingly easy. The good news? With a little bit of willpower and a lot of belief in yourself, getting back on the health and fitness track isn’t too hard. Here are a few diet and fitness tips to recommit to healthy living.

Woman writing in journal

Forgive yourself

We all make mistakes and slip up every once and awhile, so the first step in getting back on the bandwagon is to admit you fell off and that you're ready to move on. Dwelling on the slip-up or wasting time beating yourself up over it isn't productive. No one is perfect and no path to healthy living is without a bump or two. Just remember, a winning attitude will get you everywhere.

Make a plan

Once you've fallen off, you'll need to come up with a way to get everything back on track. Set more realistic – and less rigid – goals. Reach for small successes at first so you can start to feel like you're rebuilding momentum. If you were missing a key ingredient to success – say an activity to reduce your stress levels – add it to your routine. Develop balanced plans so you can avoid things like yo-yo dieting or binge eating. Identifying what your downfall was will help you avoid the problem down the road.

Don't tempt yourself

Once you know your triggers – and what caused you to fall off the healthy-living train – it's important to purge them from your life. Don't keep chips or soda or unhealthy foods in your home. Don't make post-work drink dates if your Achilles heel is bar appetizers. Avoid your temptations at all costs and you'll minimize your chances of experiencing another setback.

Stay busy

Once you get back on the bandwagon, it's important to keep yourself busy and to not fall back into bad habits. Exercise more or keep yourself busy by writing in a journal or taking up a new hobby. The busier you keep your mind, the less likely you'll be to think about "the way things were" or those negative triggers that tempt you.

Recruit help

If you're the type of person that could use some extra support in this endeavor, recruit your friends and family to help you along. Sign one of them up to be your exercise partner. Offer to make Sunday night dinners in a healthy way so you can control what you're eating. And be sure to tell everyone about your end goal and why you're reaching for it. Getting people involved and educated about your mission will ensure they've got your back the next time you may start slipping.

Keep a journal

Most falls from the healthy-living wagon happen because of an emotional reaction to a certain situation. To avoid this kind of thing from overwhelming you, it's a good idea to keep a diary or journal. Research has shown that letting your emotions out on paper not only relieves stress, it can also help people track their unhealthy habits and triggers.

The key to getting back on the health and fitness track is to just do it. These diet and exercise tips can help you along the way.

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