How to get your diet back on track

Brett, the Co-Founder of Moontower Matcha, has been a Nutrition Coach for the past 10 years. He shares his top 5 tips to help you get your diet back on track. Read on to learn more!

Imagine being able to get your eating back on track but have it feel sustainable, repeatable and realistic long term...

Knowing what to eat when you want to get your diet back on track is NEVER the problem. It’s often what’s going on between our own ears that’s holding us back. 

Life happens. Everyone is busy. But if not now, then when? Isn’t it about time you stepped up and took care of this once and for all. Aren’t you tired of feeling “off” because you’re not acting in alignment with your goals? 

We all know the feeling. It’s what happens when we know what we want but our behavior is not congruent with those desires. 

When we act in congruence with our goals, we feel our best. 

Here are my top 5 tips to help you get your eating back on track so you can live fit, healthy and happy. 

Hint: it’s not about the food. 

1. Get crystal clear on your goals - have clarity and set a hard deadline. 

You MUST get crystal clear on exactly what it is you want.

“I want to be healthy” is not a clear objective. I want to be 160 lbs at 15% body fat is much more clear. Regardless of what goal setting methodology you prefer, write down exactly what it is that you want for your health and fitness. 

When deciding what you want, it’s helpful to think of this in terms of your desired outcomes. 

With all the varieties of diet and exercise available these days, there are so many ways to achieve a healthy diet and a lean physique. 

When you know your desired outcome or goal, the “how” becomes irrelevant. As long as you focus your thoughts and actions relentlessly on your ideal outcome, have a little faith, and know there will be challenges along the way, it’s only a matter of practice or “putting in the reps." 

Once you have clarity around what you desire, set a hard deadline for when you want to achieve it. 

There’s no doubt about it that changing your physique takes time, it’s a process, and it takes a lot of practice. But hey, anything that’s truly worth anything to you requires you to earn it. I can promise you it will be worth it. 

Instead of setting a 1-year goal, consider 90 days. One year is too far away and a far-away deadline will quickly lose its juice as the time begins to pass. 

A 90-day deadline brings your goal into perspective and provokes a seriousness about change. It will look something like this...

"I am committed to being 160 lbs at 15% body fat in 90 days."

Be bold. Imagine your bigger future when you set this goal. Don’t hold back - what exactly do you want? 

Dig in, because having a clear goal with a specific deadline is only the initial spark to get your diet back on track. 

2. Plan and prepare for success

Have you ever gone on vacation by simply walking into the airport, buying a random ticket, and seeing where you land? Likely not. 

What if you asked the pilot where you were going and he reluctantly replied, “I don’t know.” 

You get my point...

Now that you have your goal and deadline, it’s time to develop a winning strategy. 

Just in case you were wondering, hope is not a strategy….

Instead of waking up each day and hoping you can stick to your diet, plan and prepare for your success. Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Have a weekly planning session - create a high level, 30,000-foot view of your week. What will you have for breakfast? How about lunch at the office? What dinners will be easy to make that align with your goals? What’s easy to make and enjoyable after a full day’s work when you’re tired and really don’t feel like it? 

  • During the weekly planning session, set your environment up for success. What foods do you need to stock up on before the week starts? Make a grocery list and get it DONE. One thing is true….“when we stock the good stuff we eat the good stuff” 

  • Anticipate any challenges that may arise like upcoming social events, festivities at work, or parties. When you know you may need a little flexibly in your diet at the end of the week, it will be much easier to stay more disciplined all week leading up to the occasion.

  • Consider how you will approach the special events. Will you review the menu ahead of time, bring healthy snacks, or simply commit to following certain plating and portion guidelines? 

  • The weekly planning session is also a great time to determine the exact number of workouts you’re committed to each week. Think of these as non-negotiable. We feel our best when we keep the commitments we make to ourselves.

Yes, workouts are not directly related to getting your diet back on track but the two together are a winning combo. Consistent exercise helps us show up less stressed and less reactive in our day. We show up more confident and with more motivation to fuel the body with healthy foods (no one wants to throw hard work down the drain with low-quality food).

If you’re struggling to get your diet back on track, don’t wait - START TODAY. Create a high-level plan for the rest of your week so that all you have to do is execute all week long. 

3. Celebrate small wins and avoid the perfectionist trap

It’s a process. There will be challenges, setbacks and at some point - you will likely want to quit. Keep in mind it’s about progress, not perfection. 

The number one reason most people can’t stick to a diet in the first place is because they aim for 100% and get frustrated when they can’t be perfect. This time around, don’t let this “all or nothing mentality” derail you before you even start…

Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, each and every day. Focus on progress, not perfection. 

One simple tip to celebrate small wins and focus on progress daily is each night during the 90-day goal, put pen to paper and write 3 wins for the day, no matter how small they may seem. 

  1. swapped out the bread on my sandwich to lettuce wraps today at lunch

  2. hit 8 cups of water 

  3. had a small green salad before pizza night with the family

These wins are yours and yours alone. Meet yourself where you’re at on the journey. Simply doing this exercise for 90 days helps focus on all the positives in your day and provides hard evidence of progress.

Progress is motivating. You’re approaching your goals and taking action. Before you know it, the momentum you’ve built will be a powerful force for sticking to it.  This time will be different. 

4. Build momentum with a healthy breakfast 

Healthy choices beget more healthy choices. A quality whole food, protein-focused breakfast generally leads to a day’s worth of great choices and fewer cravings overall. 

Alternatively, if we eat a sugar-loaded breakfast, we generally crave more sweets all day long and struggle -  especially in the afternoons and late evening. 

Set your day up for success. It doesn’t matter what time you decide to eat in the morning, just make sure meal 1 is excellent. Really nail it. Choose health, fuel the body properly, and the rest of your day will be easier. 

One successful day leads to another great breakfast the next day, which turns into a healthy dinner and the cycle continues. Confidence grows and this is when it gets exciting…

This time won’t be like the last. This time…you’re sticking to it. 

5. Set your environment up for success

Environment is everything. The simple fact is this, if you don’t have it on hand you can’t eat it. Beyond step one of getting crystal clear on exactly what you want, this is the second most important factor in whether or not you will finally succeed this time.

How often do you bring home the leftover cake from the party only to find yourself eating it later that night? We’re all guilty. I know I am. 

Why rely on willpower? It rarely works and thinking somehow you’ve finally solved this dilemma is a lie you’re telling yourself. 

Here are 4 steps to set your environment up for success. Refuse to compromise and you will get everything you’re after and more. How good would that feel to finally have the body you’ve always wanted? 

  1. Go through your house and throw out everything in the fridge, pantry, freezer, and cabinets that no longer serve you. Ask yourself, “Is this food feeding the better version of me at my ideal weight or the old me?” If the answer is no, it’s got to go. Donate it, trash it, give it to your neighbor but it can’t stay here. 

  2. Only stock the healthy stuff. Now that your house is cleaned out, you are 100% responsible for what comes in it from this moment forward. One thing is for certain, if we stock the good stuff, we eat the good stuff. Yep, this one’s worth repeating. It goes for liquids, packaged foods, and pantry staples. 

  3. Regularly toss out temptations. Avoid the trap of temptation creep by setting one day each week where you will toss out anything that may have snuck in. It may be the cupcakes dropped off by the neighbor or the candy your child brought home from school. Don’t overthink it, don’t check in with how you “feel" about it. Don’t justify keeping it. Simply act and….toss it out! 

  4. Healthy foods are easy to overeat too. We all know how 1 tbsp of peanut butter can quickly turn into half a jar. When even healthy foods become tempting, increase the obstacles between you and whatever it is. This means freezing the PB and only thawing out enough for 1 day at a time. It may mean putting the bag of trail mix in the basement after portioning out one handful. Think out of sight, out of mind. 

With these five principles in place you’ll be able to get your diet back on track. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back, you got this:

You must get crystal clear on exactly what it is you want. 

You must relentlessly plan ahead week after week. 

You must celebrate small wins.  Progress > perfection.

You must build momentum with a healthy meal to start each day. 

You must set your environment up for success. 

If it was easy, everybody would be fit. You can have the body you’ve always wanted if you’re willing to put in the work. Now go out and get what you want. 

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