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Any dieter can have a diet program setback after experiencing a bad day, week or weekend. What separates the successful weight losers from the less successful ones is their ability to quickly pick themselves up and refocus.
get back on track with your diet
Successful weight losers know that the path to long term weight loss is not always a straight line. In fact, more often than not it can be a bumpy road - filled with detours and jagged paths - from overdoing it at a July 4th barbecue or indulging over a long weekend.

It's important to set yourself up for a successful path to long term weight loss. Learning how to quickly come back after a minor setback is in order.

Here are some tips to guide you:

1. Put setback in perspective. Nutrition experts know that the quality of your diet is not set in stone from one meal, one day or one weekend. Instead, your diet quality is made of many choices that occur over weeks and months. If you're coming off of a weekend where you made some bad food choices, you can start the week by making some healthier food choices. A long term healthy weight loss program is not about having to be perfect all the time; it's about balancing out the worse days with some better ones. And as time goes on and you gain more control you'll see that overall you will have better days – and weekends.

2. Take back control. After experiencing a minor setback, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. Instead, this is the time to start taking those baby steps that will remind you that you are in control. It's also not a day to skip meals as a way to start cutting calories. Skipping meals only sets you up for low energy and intense hunger – which can lead to a diet disaster. Instead, remind yourself to eat breakfast, make time to eat regular meals and snacks, make sure to eat some nutritious and low calorie fresh fruit and veggies and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. You may not be in the mood for a full workout but do commit to accumulating at least 30 minutes of brisk walking during your day's routine. Brisk walking is good as an energy and mood booster.

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3. Do a reality check. You may be scared to get on that scale after a "bad" weekend, but the truth is the sooner you weigh yourself, the sooner you can have a reality check. If your weight is up a bit, that's just a good reminder that you need to start following your meal and exercise plans more closely.

4. Process what happened. Sometimes you may need help processing just what happened when you lost control. Reaching out to a buddy or a expert will remind you that you don't need to go it alone. More than likely your buddy or expert will be able to help shed light on how you veered off course. Did you not have a plan in place before going to the party? Were you with some friends who tend to sabotage your best efforts? Did you actually not do as bad as you thought? Remember - the goal isn't to be picture perfect. You can be at a party and enjoy a moderate portion of a favorite treat – without feeling like you've blown your diet.

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