What happens when you respond to health and fitness slip-ups emotionally

When you have a health and fitness goal in mind, the last thing you should do is restrict yourself to a specific diet and a specific workout.

By restricting yourself to never eat carbs, never miss a workout, or never have a day off - you are tying to these restrictions to the feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness when you do break your rules.

Let me give you some examples; Sally swears she is never going to eat sugar again. She's seen the way to many shows on how bad sugar is for you, and how much weight you can lose when you don't consume it. For the first three weeks, Sally stays well away from sugar and is extremely proud of her achievements.

Until one day, she cant take it anymore. She pulls that block of chocolate out of the fridge, and she eats three pieces. Suddenly, guilt takes over. "Well, I've already eaten three pieces, I've failed at my goals, i might as well eat the whole block."

Steve wants to drop his body fat percentage to under 15% for an upcoming body building competition. He swears that he won't ever miss a day at the gym for the next six weeks until the competition. For the first four weeks, Steve does just that. He's feeling super proud of his achievements, but he is tired, his body hurts, he hasn't seen his friends in a long time.

One day, instead of going to the gym, Steve goes out and has lunch with his friends. The next day, Steve see's that he has broken his promise to not miss a day at the gym. Steve ends up missing the gym for the next two weeks.

You can see how this can become an issue right?

By tying these emotional responses to these restrictive diets, every single time you 'slip up' you will respond in a way that is less than ideal. And this way of training will become a habit. Not only can this lead to obsessive eating habits, but it can also cause you to develop eating disorders and an unhealthy obsession with working out.

A better way to workout and control eating habits is to know that it is okay to 'slip up.' And if you do 'slip up' it's not going to change how far you have come. You are not going to gain the 6kg you have lost back from 3 pieces of chocolate. You are not going to lose muscle mass from missing one workout. Health and fitness aren't just about your body. It is about your mental health, your wellbeing, and your happiness too.

You are human, and you are not perfect.