Coping with Lapses

Coping with Lapses

A lapse is a single error or slip. It is one event, like skipping your physical activity for the day. Relapse is when lapses add up and you return to your former state. 

Lapses or setbacks are a normal part of change. By learning how to cope with lapses and not let them lead to a  relapse, you’ll be able to stay on track.

Typical triggers that makes people lapse

  • Hunger
  • Stress
  • Boredom with diet or exercise regime
  • Events e.g. parties, weddings, holidays
  • Motivation and confidence in success reduces over time
  • Goals are set too high

How can a lapse lead to a relapse?

  • Guilt and feelings of failure at having lapsed can lead to negative thinking. For example, thoughts such as “ now I’ll never reach my goal weight” or “I’ve had one biscuit so I might as well eat the whole packet”.
  • If you minimise success i.e. concentrating on the lapse and forgetting about all the positive changes you have made so far
  • If you starve yourself, e.g. missing meals to make up for lapse- this is more likely to end up with you overeating later

How do I stop lapses leading to relapse?

  • See the lapse as a warning sign
  • Take a minute to let the negative feelings pass
  • Remind yourself that  this is normal
  • Think back to your reasons for losing weight
  • Don’t blame yourself – be forgiving
  • Change your thinking so you aren’t all about “all or nothing”
  • Ask for help from a friend, or your GluCare Team
  • Look at reasons for your lapse, think how you could prevent the same thing happening in the future
  • Have a plan in place for potential future times you might lapse.
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