We recently had an online chat with some clients in our weight loss clinics about slipping up on their eating plan and how they feel about it.
Most admitted that prior to their Motivation Programme, they would either suffer extreme guilt or just throw in the towel altogether. Thankfully, through their private consultations and the expert advice of their adviser, they’ve come to terms with the fact that a slip up with a weight loss plan is very normal. In fact, it presents a wonderful opportunity to learn.
Alan Marlatt, a psychologist from the University of Washington, said: “In any new learning challenge, you expect to make mistakes. When you’re learning to ride a bike, you have slips and falls. If you’re trying to learn a new language, you expect to make mistakes. The same principle applies to learning a new behaviour. What people think about lapses seems to make the biggest difference in how quickly they get back on track. People who recover quickly (from a lapse in eating), are people who don’t think one mistake is a total failure. They don’t turn it on themselves. They look at the situation that caused it instead.”
We’re all busy people, trying to juggle work, family, friends, fitness…..and weight loss! Add Covid-19 to the mix and it is no wonder we tend to lapse every now and again. The important thing is how we react. It is crucial to get back on track quickly.
In order to do so, you must identify the events that triggered the slip to understand and learn from them. In most cases, slips occur on the back on an emotion that, in that moment, was unavoidable. Our slips are most often a result of external events, not a character flaw in you. Learn to recognise them.
Once you recognise triggers to lapses, you can develop a strategy for ‘recovery.’ It is vital to set up a series of behaviours or habits that will turn things around. Make your weight loss plan simple. Have a smaller supper tonight, and then minimal or no evening snacks. Repeat this behaviour three days in a row and you will realise how quickly you can get back on track. Schedule a longer than normal exercise session this weekend or plan an extra session or two. The faster you do this, the quicker your motivation will return. Rewrite or reread your goals and review them more regularly.
Remember what you accomplished when you first started your weight loss programme, and go back to basics.
School is offically over – whatever that means – as it’s really been over the past 12 weeks. Normally, when the summer holidays kick in, we tend to have less control over ongoing events around us that affect our desire to eat well or workout. With the pandemic, everything was and is turned upside down.
Please don’t criticise yourself. Just develop a strategy NOW so that if you do slip you can get your weight loss plan back on track quickly.
You can do it!