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How to learn from your slip-ups

We have all been there before. Everything is going well and then all of a sudden here comes a wedding to ruin it all. The cake, the champagne, the buffet… I mean who can resist?

We at Counterweight like to think of these as slip-ups. Our clients experience these as weight loss slip ups, and they are normal. Note how we did not say failure and that is because slip-ups are normal, expected and you can recover from them. It is not the magnitude of the slip-up but your response to the slip-up that matters.


How can I prevent slip-ups?

The main reason for nearly all slip-ups is not planning effectively, even when it comes to weight loss slip ups. Life goes on, regardless of whether you are making healthy lifestyle changes or not. You will be faced with weddings, birthday parties, lack of motivation, holidays, and more. These are all red flags for possible slip-ups. Having a support system such as family and friends can help keep you accountable, even on your weight loss journey.

To avoid slip ups it is important to have “contingency plans” in place. Look forward over the next 3 months and identify possible areas that might challenge you to stay on track. Now, create a table with 3 columns with the following headings: “Event”, “Concerns”, and “Contingency Plan”. Under “Event”, identify which events may interfere with your plan. Next, write your concerns under the “Concerns” column and then under “Contingency Plan” create a plan to help you stay on track during that event

It is important to ensure that you make sure these are realistic. Let’s look at an example below. You can apply these contingency plans to your weight loss or health journey, or any area of your life, for that matter:

 Event Concerns Contingency Plan
John’s birthday next weekend I might not be able to stick to my diet due to all the temptations.

What will be available? You can always ask the host what kind of meals there will be served.

Answer from host: there will be cake, appetisers and a buffet made by John’s family including 2 starches, a potato salad, and 2 meats.

Plan: plan for a small piece of cake and offer to create a dish (something nutritious and lower in calories) to bring to the party. I will then have my chickpea green salad with one meat and one starch option.

Working overtime this week I won’t be able to exercise after work and preparing healthy dinners will be challenging.

I don’t like exercising in the mornings so I will put together some exercises that don’t require equipment and do them during the day (spending 10 minutes 3 times a day to complete the exercises) and if I have time, I’ll go for a 20 min walk during lunch.

I will make use of a meal prep company for the week that I work overtime.

Lack of motivation I will want energy-dense foods and avoid exercise.

I will not keep energy dense foods in the house for times when I may become tempted.

I will plan a hike with friends for something fun and active that doesn’t feel like exercise.

My family is staying over this weekend I will not be able to follow my weight loss plan or exercise.

I can prepare most of the meals my family eats and suggest appropriate restaurants. When eating out I can adhere to appropriate portion sizes and split excessive portions so that I take home a doggy-bag.

We can go for a parkrun or a family hike.

But I have already slipped up, now what?

Write down a list of what went well today. What did you achieve today that is bringing you closer to your goal? It need not be anything big, it can be something as simple as “I ate breakfast”. Next, write down a list of what did not go well today. What was your slip-up? Now think about how you can prevent this from happening in the future. Once you have created this plan, you can add it to your bank of contingency plans. As long as you use your slip-ups as a learning opportunity you are on the path to achieving your goals.

We can support your weight loss journey with proven methods and professional support from dietitians. It’s easy to get started. View the benefits of our weight loss programme here.


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