How can I get back on my diet after a slip-up?

Brenda K. Wade, PhD
Everyone has slip-ups when they are trying to correct any sort of behavior; anxiety is usually what triggers a diet slip-up. In this video, psychologist Brenda Wade, PhD, discusses her tips for resetting your brain, getting back up, and moving on. 
Layne Lieberman, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
If you slip-up on your weight loss efforts, the best thing to do is get right back on track and not allow the blunder to discourage you. Watch culinary nutritionist Layne Lieberman, RD, explain the importance of moving forward after a diet mishap. 
Sudeepta Varma, MD
After a diet slip-up, you have to pick yourself back up and move forward; it's about damage control and not allowing yourself to make it worse! Watch me give tips for getting right back on track with your diet.

A Slip Card is a convenient cheat sheet of reminders, to carry in your purse or wallet, when you slip. The card immediately reminds you what to do in order to avoid letting that one-time slip turn into a permanent fall, to prevent a lapse from becoming a relapse.

Once you’ve slipped, you’ll want concise, practical directions that incorporates lessons learned and gets you back on track. Begin building your Slip Card by identifying:

  • what you were thinking
  • what you were doing
  • what you were feeling
  • and whom you were with when you slipped.

You’ll turn those triggers around and phrase them as the healthy opposites.

For example, when I (Norcross) fail to exercise four or five times a week, I have learned that:

  • I am thinking “Give myself a break. I’m too tired” (which is perverse, since exercise is what gives me more energy)
  • I am traveling or working long hours
  • I am feeling resentful, put upon, and pressured (all the more reason, of course, to de-stress by exercising, but I do not feel that at the moment)
  • I am away from home and not around my exercise buddies (Tom H, Mary, Tom S)

These four categories form the basis for your slip card -- what to think, what to do, what to feel, and who to do it with -- the next time you slip. Then transform them into a positive list of do’s and a few don’ts on a slip card.

Yes, it takes a few moments, but the payback is huge. Your slip card serves as a roadmap that directs you to effective strategies to prevent slips from becoming complete falls.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.