What To Do When You Screw Up Your Diet

It seems as though screwing up a diet plan is something people just can’t avoid.

The most common issue is simply eating in a calorie surplus when you intended to eat in a calorie deficit.

This happens all the time and is something that you truly shouldn’t be too concerned about.

When attempting to eat in a calorie deficit and reaching your macros goal, the secret and key to success is being consistent. But because we’re human, it doesn’t always go as planned.

Many people begin to form bad relationships with food because of this single problem. They are always worried about messing up their diet because they think the world will come crashing down.

When eating disorders form due to stress of over eating, this becomes a serious problem. This problem most times has to be addressed by a professional.

It all starts by forming a negative and unhealthy relationship with food.

We want to avoid this at all costs.

Here’s the thing.

Accidentally screwing up your calorie count or your macros is NOT the end of the world. If you’re in the mindset that hitting your calorie and macros goals exact is extremely stressful, then we need to focus on changing that.

Having the negative mindset that your diet has to be perfect and dead on all the time is a very unhealthy way to live your life. Life is unpredictable and full of challenges and worrying about how much food you eat to perfection simply shouldn’t be a stressor.

In fact, those who are stuck in this negative mindset often go to the extreme to fix their diet the next day and this is unhealthy too.

Follow along as we discuss what to do when you screw up your diet.


You Messed Up Your Diet, Now What?

So, yesterday you messed up your diet and ate 2,500 calories instead of 2,000. Greasy food and messing up your diet.

What do you think you should do now?

My solution to this is quite simple, do nothing about it.

If you mess up your diet, I want you to simply get back on track the very next day.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!

One day of over eating won’t destroy your progress just like one day of proper eating won’t make your progress.

The key is to accept it and move on willingly.

Let me explain an example that personally occurred to me.

I started off my day on a great pace of hitting my calorie goal and staying in a deficit. However, unexpectedly, I was surprised with a hamburger from my favorite restaurant. Now, consider that I don’t always get to eat from my favorite restaurant. Also consider that it was a very kind gesture of this person to surprise me with a treat.

On this day I went over my calorie goal.

What did I do?

I accepted it and moved on. I realize that being perfect isn’t the goal. My goal is something that is long term and one day of eating will not destroy it. I simply made sure to meet my goals for the next day and moved on.

This is a strategy that I want all of you to implement in your own lives.

Sometimes you have to treat yourself and enjoy the day.

You have your entire life to hit your calorie and macros goals.


What You Shouldn’t Do

If you accidentally mess up your caloric intake for the day by going way over, you need to be accepting of it in a healthy way.

1) Don’t avoid eating the next day.

Not eating the day after a food binge is a really bad idea. It can lead to unhealthy relationships with food and we surely want to avoid this. The very next day, you have to simply get back on track and hit your calories or macros goal.

2) Don’t torture yourself with excessive amounts of cardio. Cardio workout.

Doing an excessive amount of cardio the day after you over eat is also a bad idea that could lead to poor habits and poor health.

If it’s a workout day and you want to do a normal amount of cardio, then so be it.

But if you do an excessive amount of cardio simply because you’re stressed about over eating, this creates a negative relationship with foods. Dieting needs to be a positive and healthy relationship with your foods.

3) Don’t Give Up!

Just because you went over on your calorie goals and missed your macros does not mean that you should give up and do it again the next day.

It is so easy to give up and get back into unhealthy eating habits but you have to be tough, stay strong, and keep pushing. By taking your diet day by day you will eventually see results.

Your job is to get back on track for the very next day.

The only way you can truly mess up, is if you quit all together.


Messing Up Your Diet Recap

Accidentally going over your calories or macro goal is a normal part of life.

I do this a few times a week!

Think about it this way. If I became stressed or took drastic measures every time I missed my calories goal, I would go insane!

Remember, by starting negative habits with dieting and food, you can be leading yourself down a dark path. This is a path of eating disorders.

Many people suffer from them. Eating disorders are not uncommon especially among younger folks. However, they are a very serious condition.

By taking these steps we can help promote building positive relationships with foods and with dieting.

If you go over your calories goal, I want you to make a promise to yourself.

Do not avoid eating for the next day.

Do not do excessive amounts of cardio to catch up.

Do not give up on your goals

Do, eat a healthy meal and hit your macros and calories goal for the next day.

healthy chicken dinner

If you have any experience with messing up your calories or macros goal, please comment below and share your thoughts!

Russell

Founder of https://myshakercup.com

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24 Comments

Sujandar Mahesan

This was truly a motivational article for me. Because I’m one of those people who worry a lot about calories. After reading this article I realized that being mad at myself or stressing over it is not going to do my any good. It is probably only going to make things worse for me.

Thank you for this eye opening article.

Reply
    Russell

    Hello,

    I am so glad I could help lead you in the right direction. 

    Please focus on accepting the fact that overeating does and will continue to happen in the future. The goal is to deal with it in a positive way. For example, this could be getting right back on track the very next day and moving on. 

    Reach out if you need more help!

    Russell 

    Reply
Chris

I think that most dieters experience this sort of day from time to time, and most of them hit the panic button like you have suggested in your article.

Personally, I believe if you are mixing your diet up with daily cardio - a slip here and there will never really amount to much weight-wise. Do you agree with this?

Reply
    Russell

    Hey,

    I 100% agree that all dieters experience mishaps. That is a part of life and it should be expected. 

    I agree that doing your cardio is important and in fact can be helpful in offsetting days when you go over your calories. But remember, cardio should never be used directly to battle the stress of overeating. This is how mental health issues begin and we want to always avoid that. 

    Russell 

    Reply
Daniel

I found this article to be very helpful and motivational for me. I was on various type of diets and not so many give the desired results primarily because I did it in a wrong way. It often happens that I overeat one day and other day I am starving which now I know is not healthy. I will focus on your tips and try to not make mistakes in the future because our fight with kilograms never stops.

Reply
    Russell

    Hi there!

    Yes, overeating and then not eating at all is exactly what we need to avoid. This is exactly what leads to unhealthy relationships with our foods.

    Please take my tips into consideration and let me know if you have any further questions. 

    Russell 

    Reply
Dale

No matter how good the diet and no matter how discipline you are sometimes you are going to have an oopsie.  There is no sense getting down on yourself.

Just go on to the next meal and continue the diet.  Just dont consider it a screw up.  Instead consider it a little bump in the road.

This was a great article 

Dale

Reply
    Russell

    Hey!

    You are exactly spot on. Bump in the roads are fully expected in life. What matters is how you come back from it!

    Russell 

    Reply
Cath Anon

I love this advice!  I love the pragmatic tone.  I love the positive message.  I love being given the "ok" to not beat myself up for the occasional lapse.  To not to worry.  To just get back on track.

Thank you for posts like this.  It's putting things in to proper perspective.  It hopefully goes a long way to minimising the unhealthy way we sometimes do our diets.

Reply
    Russell

    Hello! 

    I am so overjoyed to hear your thoughts. 

    I thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I am glad I could help. 

    Russell

    Reply
Joe

This has happened to me a few times, and I totally agree with everything you say. Especially one of the last points you made, being 'don't give up'. When this did happen to me I found it really easy to just give up and go back to old eating habits, for some reason at the time that makes logical sense. Looking back on it this is the worst thing you can do and there is no reason to do it. 

Thanks for a great post, best wishes :)

Reply
    Russell

    Hey!

    I appreciate your kind words. Never give up and keep pushing forward! :) 

    Russell 

    Reply
Celeste

Hi Russell,

I love what you have said in this post. It is so important that people who accidentally mess up on their diet don't start trying to correct it, or blame themselves, or give up entirely. Inevitably, this leads to people getting mental health problems resulting in more eating problems. I like how clear you have made this and your message is clear and wise. Thank you :)

Reply
    Russell

    Hey!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. 

    The goal is to always help others to inspire to be better versions of themselves! 

    Russell 

    Reply
Dave

Usually if i screw up my diet at any point, I look for the triggers or what made me go off the diet at any given time. Then I try to come up with a plan to deal with the triggers. Maybe I need to have a handful of almonds close by instead of easy access to cake or pastry...something as simple as that. I also note where I am at that particular time...and so on. I avoid beating myself up though, for falling off the diet.

Reply
    Russell

    That is a very good approach to messing up your diet. 

    Finding the triggers and discovering ways to avoid them is key! 

    Thanks for reaching out, 

    Russell 

    Reply
julienne murekatete

Thank you for sharing this helpful post .This is what I needed in my life.Advice like this which can tell me that it is not the end of the world.I have had the same mistake when I started my lesson of losing weight I was in a situation where I could not follow my diet and I stopped it.

From this post I have to start my lesson and I hope I will never give up again.

Reply
    Russell

    Hi!

    I am so glad that my post could help lead you in the right direction. I wish you the best of luck in reaching your goals and always feel free to comment back for help!

    Thank you for reaching out,

    Russell 

    Reply
Mariem

Thanks for sharing this post Russell!

I'm trying to lose some weight for my birthday party because I want to look my best and because of this I stress myself whenever I screw up my diet.

I will try my best to focus on my goal and without messing up my diet!, do you know any tricks to avoid eating to much? does drinking a lot of water really help you lose weight?

Thank u again for this informative post and have a nice day :)

Reply
    Russell

    Hey!

    Thanks for reaching out. 

    I wish you the best of luck in reaching your goals. In order to avoid eating too much it is important to find low calorie foods that make you feel full and satisfied. For example, you can eat sooooo much grilled chicken for just a small amount of calories. This no doubt will also make you feel full! 

    Please feel free to reach out with any other questions! 

    Russell 

    Reply
mark kabakov

Russel, Hey! You have delighted all readers with your calm confident topic. Now everyone will begin to thank you. For reassuring and saying: "Have you eaten any food, have broken the diet? Do not worry. Do as I advise you." 

And you recommend the right actions. For example, I do not panic and do not force, for 2-3 days I restore my weight by fractional and frequent feeding of small portions.I cook myself buckwheat porridge in a thermos + a few spoons of dairy fat-free product. Accept six times during the day. It helps tea with lime and soda water is not cold. 

Thank you for the useful article and invitation to the discussion. Mark

Reply
    Russell

    Mark,

    Thank you for reaching out and leaving me with such kind words. 

    The goal is to inspire others to better themselves. I am glad you found my article useful!

    Russell 

    Reply
Christine

Hi Russell,

Thank you for your advice on what to do when you screw up your diet.

I totally agreed with you. When you went over your calorie goal on one day is not the end of the world. Move on to the next day with the usual diet.  Never stress about over eating in one day, it does not make any difference.

When I messed up my calories goal on one day, I'll just move on to the next day and continue to meet my calories goal. I never stressed about it. It is just one of those days :)

Reply
    Russell

    Hey!

    It sounds like you are spot on! You're doing exactly what you need to be doing. 

    The key is to move on and inspire to be better for the next day!

    Russell 

    Reply

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