5 reasons to stop saying get back on track

January 5, 2020

This time of year I hear so many people say they want to get back on track.
Get back on track with exercise.
Get back on track with organization.
Get back on track with finances.

But the one I am going to talk about today is
Get back on track with eating.
5 reasons to stop saying get back on track

So I get the sentiment. Maybe it is after the holidays or after a vacation, or after some events and you are just not feeling your best. Maybe you ate more foods than your body needs. Maybe you ate more foods that are lower in nutrients, or foods that make you not feel your best.

It happens to all of us. But when you say you need to get back on track, what you are actually saying is that the way you were eating was wrong and you should feel bad about it.

This is not a great pattern to put in place for several reasons.

Here are 5 reasons to stop saying get back on track:

  1. You are shaming yourself for how you were eating. Shaming is never a good idea. Shaming does not make you feel good. Shaming creates guilt around food which could cause a preoccupation with food.
  2. Instead of focusing on the positives of the holiday/event/vacation, thinking you ate wrong focuses on the negative. Even if at the time you were thoroughly enjoying the food, when you tell yourself to get back on track you out a damper on the experience.
  3. Even though you allowed yourself to eat those foods that you now feel are "off track" you probably had some guilt eating them. Maybe in the back of your mind you were thinking about how after the (fill in the blank) you would go back to eating better. So although you were eating and enjoying those foods, you may not have truly let yourself be in the moment and just be happy.
  4. If the foods you were eating at said holiday/event/vacation are some of your favorite foods, by saying you need to get back on track you are saying you need to not eat foods that give you pleasure. And yes, food should be nourishing and promote good health. But that is not all what food is about. Food should also bring people together,help celebrate, and be part of community. It is ok to enjoy food. And if you are enjoying your favorite foods but you limit them too much or shame yourself for eating them, it could lead to bingeing.
  5. Saying you will get back on track may cause bingeing. You know you are going to deny yourself the pleasure of the foods you are eating so you may (I know I have) eat much more. You think ( I have thought) well I am not going to be eating this for a while since I am going to get back on track so I am going to eat as much as I want now. Yet at the next event, will this same thing happen? Will you binge again since the "taboo" food is present and you have been avoiding it?

I have moved to a philosophy of intuitive eating, all foods fit, eat what you want mentality.

There is a place for nutrition education, limiting foods, and medical nutrition therapy, however many times, following structured diets does not work, is not sustainable, and causes more issues than it helps.

So if you are ready to do something different with your eating, eat with ease, feel less guilty, enjoy more foods, while still feeling good stop trying to get back on a track that does not promote that.