“Without the strength to endure the crisis, one will not see the opportunity within. It is within the process of endurance that opportunity reveals itself.” – Chin-Ning Chu, author
Food addiction is one of the most influencing factors in obesity. In fact, overeating and binge eating contributes significantly to the #1 reason why people fail weight-loss diets. Here is 3 easy steps to train your brain for diet relapse prevention.
Food is a destructive habit
When we are working on changing destructive habits, behaviors, and choices about food, it is important to remember that it took years to create those reactions, and it is going to take some time to replace them with desirable alternatives. Our behaviors are ingrained in our brain and nervous system in the form of neural pathways, and it takes a lot more than a real intention to transform them.
Weight loss diet relapse
This journey to long-term weight loss and health is a journey of patience and perseverance. A lapse, a temporary return to old habits or patterns, is a part of the voyage. The more you understand that this is a regular part of the process, the less you will beat yourself up over it and the quicker you can refocus on your goals.
Diet relapse is specifically not following your diet for more than one meal. Cheating on your diet is different than a full-blown relapse! A relapse is falling off the weight-loss wagon and giving up for a period of time due to a wide range of circumstances.
We are not striving for perfection, but for progress. We will all have days when we might overeat, snack when we are not physically hungry, or not make the healthiest food choices, and that is okay. The key is to keep things in balance and train ourselves to get quickly back on track.
Instead of allowing your thoughts to run and cause you to feel like a failure, you can remind yourself that lapses are a normal part of the process; they are expected. This way, you can focus your attention on assessing the situation so you can become aware of the thoughts and feelings that drove you to that unwanted behavior. This way, you can learn from it so that you consciously make a different decision next time you are in a similar situation.
Questions to ask yourself during a diet relapse
- What was the reason for the lapse or relapse? What was I thinking and feeling at the time?
- What beliefs drove my behavior? Are these beliefs I am willing to change at this time?
- What can I tell myself or do differently next time to get a different outcome?
Simple steps to train your brain to avoid a diet relapse
An excellent way to test your plan in advance is to visualize the plan.
- Take a moment to close your eyes and put yourself in the same situation. Bring up all the thoughts and feelings that derailed you from your healthy eating behaviors.
- Once you have them up and running, put your plan into place. When visualizing the idea, did it feel congruent in your system, like you would do it?
- Find out ways to get around these events from occurring again. What happened in the end? Were you able to make a different choice that you felt good about?
If you can get success in your visual practice, more than likely, it will work in real life. If it does not work in the visual practice, take a few more minutes to rework the plan.
How did you put this into practice, and what was the outcome?