5 tips for overcoming lapses on a VLCD

When a client comes to me and tells me they've had a 'bad week' with their eating plan, i never judge. I know only too well how bad it feels to make an error of judgement but one thing I always tell my clients is that lessons are there behind our errors and it's important to take a lesson away with us.

 This post explores my 5 ways in which you can learn from your diet lapses and how to move forward.

1. Our errors are our biggest lessons...

When we have a lapse, a blip or what ever you want to call it, you can react in 2 ways.
1. Not think about it at all. almost like it never happened
2. Take something from it.

Now. I know what it's like to have a diet lapse - been there done that myself and i know the enormous guilt that comes with them and it can be quite difficult to view a lapse as an opportunity to learn but if you take away the emotion (you know those guilt, disgust, why did i do that kind of feelings), then there truly is a lesson to take away with you. 
If you accept that you can't change that lapse, it's happened, it's in the past and then focus on the here and now and what you need to do to make it alright with you then you'll take away any emotion. Focus on the here and now instead of the past and the worry of how that lapse will affect your future weight loss

2. Use your inner toolkit...

We all have an internal tool kit filled with yup you guessed it - tools that can help you move forward. One tool  could be your goals. The reason you are trying to lose weight in the first place. Moping around feeling bad about your blips isn't going to solve anything and neither will the 'i may as well start next week mentality'. Look at how you can use these blips to your advantage. Maybe look at how you can start a fresh new path from this. 
It may well be that the way you were losing weight wasn't right for you - maybe too rigid? too hard? 
If you are a social butterfly, then maybe a strict total food replacement plan wasn't right for you?
If you work long hours or shifts, maybe a plan where attending meetings is mandatory isn't right for you? 
Look at how you can support yourself so these kind of lapses don't occur 
Your inner tool kit if full of all sorts of methods and ways of helping you. It doesn't need to come from just re-visiting your goals. It can come from finding inspiration in all sorts of places such as reading other peoples stories about their success , it could be from going out and clearing your head by going for a walk. What ever is in your inner tool kit - utilise it!

3. Mistakes DO make you a stronger person...

I've never met someone who hasn't made a mistake in their life which goes to show 'we're only human' but mistakes can make you stronger. Earlier i talked about reacting in 2 ways - pretend it didn't happen (go into denial) OR  take something from it. Those who take the 'take something from it' route, ALWAYS learn something about themselves. Whether it be something smaller from 'OK I've learned how much i want to lose weight because i feel bad about this blip' to those huge light bulb moments of 'I eat when this has happened to me and i react in this way because....'

That phrase ' you're only human' can hurt our subconscious because it reminds us of our vulnerabilities and blips remind us of our vulnerabilities too. Lets pretend you have been on plan for a few weeks. Not had a blip and 100% stuck to plan. You may even have felt holier than now and almost evangelical about how you've changed your behaviours and are on the next step to weight management. Then.... something comes along and you freak the blip out!  it can be quite scary and a very down to earth with a bang moment for us and that's why people react so badly with blips. It makes them realise a behaviour they thought they had control of has worked it's way back to the surface and they didn't see it coming. 
That's OK as it means in future, you'll be more aware of this unhelpful behaviour so will be on alert. It's always good to think why did that blip happen. I've written a post about exploring our thoughts and how they affect behaviours. Have a read here

4. Avoid this turning into a bigger mistake...

Have you ever had a blip and thought may as well start tomorrow? i know i have!
The problem with that all or nothing thinking is that (in my case), i spent the rest of the day eating more food than i normally would have if i wasn't on a VLCD - It's known as the VLCD blow out. It's where you try to get it out of your system. Totally crooked thinking and no logic to it really but it happens alot with VLCD slimmers.

Now. If you have had a blip and are thinking well it's mid week now, may as well start next week, a lot of damage to your progress can be done in that short space of time. Your best bet is to acknowledge the blip but carry on with your plan as normal today anyway and yes that means having all the packs even though you may well have eaten off plan already. 

A lapse today may not necessarily put ALL the weight back on. It may not even put any weight on you but it can play havoc with your mentality around the VLCD plan. Nip it in the bud before it becomes bigger than you can handle.

5. Remember to stay humble and true to yourself.

Mistakes are a humbling experience. Remember when i said about being evangelical about VLCD's? well this happens alot - even I was like it. I remember when I did LighterLife back in 2005, a lady came in every week and discussed what she'd eaten and drank. Every week she lost weight and it would really anger me as i was silently suffering, wanting food but too scared and evangelical about the plan to eat. One week she came in and had a gain and i thought 'serves you right'. It wasn't until my own blip that i realised how my own sense of entitlement in group probably wasn't helping her with her blips. She was already on a spiral of blip after blip and certainly didn't need any judgement - just support. 

Remember. Mistakes are an important part of slimming. If we were all 100% perfect 100% of the time, then there wouldn't be a weight loss industry! 

My best tip is to be honest with yourself. Recognise when you are making excuses and  always think about why you had a blip

With Love



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