Sick of Relapsing? Here are 4 Tips to Help You Keep the Weight Off For Good!
- 2 Minutes Read
Skipping workouts for 2 weeks or going on vacation can equate to a lapse in managing your weight and may easily result in weight gain. Occasional lapses are normal! If a lapse goes unchecked, it can result in a relapse. Here are 4 tips to prevent relapses and regain your momentum after a slip.
A relapse happens gradually over a series of meals, or missed workouts, vacations, etc. The goal is to recognize the early warning signs of a relapse which begin with a change in thinking about behaviors or habits. Can you relate to any of these thought distortions?
Critical self attacks serve a function. They help us feel safe and comfortable. They shelter us from disappointment. Yet they also prevent us from finding creative ways to manage high risk events, make changes in our behavior, and learn from our mistakes.
Find ways to challenge your inner critic. Consider reading a book on improving self-esteem or meet with a friend or counselor to discuss ways to reframe negative thinking or check out this blog post on self-talk.
Focusing too much on other peoples' problems leaves little time and energy to focus on yourself. Successful weight management requires continual effort and energy. No one can do the work for you. If you are losing sleep, skipping workouts or missing meals because you are focused on other people, you are setting the stage for a possible relapse. Good self care involves taking time out for yourself to do things you enjoy, get enough sleep, fit in physical activity and generally take care of YOU!
The way a person responds to a stressful situation impacts the likelihood they will relapse. For example, positive self talk or simple avoidance of a high risk situation are both examples of constructive ways to handle a difficult situation. In addition, the greater the frequency of using positive coping strategies will increase self confidence. This then decreases the chance of a future relapse.
Stepping on the scale on a regular basis helps check your progress. Individuals who have been successful in losing weight and keeping it off (learn more at the National Weight Control Registry) were honest with themselves when it came to the scale. They determined an individual red flag weight. Essentially a red flag weight is a weight that is 3-5 pounds above goal. If they noticed they had gotten up to this red flag weight, it was a signal that they needed to get back on track immediately to prevent further weight regain. Using the scale to catch a lapse before it becomes a relapse can be critical to long term success.
Occasional lapses are a normal part of managing weight. If you are experiencing a lapse, start by taking a deep breath and working to get back on track as soon as you can. Your future self will thank you!