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Taking Charge of a Diet Relapse by Identifying the Causes

April 21, 2020
Taking Charge of a Diet Relapse by Identifying the Causes

While it can feel so good to choose nutritious foods and nail each workout as it comes, a lapse in healthy behaviors can lead to the opposite feelings. Lapses can make you feel out of control or unpredictable, and that can be discouraging and overwhelming.

Fortunately, simply identifying the causes of a lapse can be helpful without being daunting. It can increase feelings of empowerment because it shows that yes, indeed, you do understand what is happening. Plus, it can guide you towards finding solutions. As the Lark DPP check-in said, why not keep a tally of the causes you think of today? Here are some common causes of lapses.

Feeling Deprived


It is common to be gung-ho when starting a new diet plan and fitness routine. Over time, though, early feelings of pride and excitement can yield to feelings of deprivation and even martyrdom. Thinking of changes to eating habits as “diet” can cause a mindset of the changes being temporary. After weeks or months, your mind can be ready to end the “diet” and cause you, consciously or subconsciously, to return to old habits, otherwise known as a relapse.

Feelings of deprivation can occur if there are certain foods you want to eat but do not permit yourself to do so. They can also occur if you feel that your meal plan does not allow for special occasions, such as birthday celebrations, or if you sometimes give up social events or relaxation time for workouts.

Being Hungry


It may sound like an easy answer, but it can be a true problem. Being hungry can play a role in making you overeat or choose less nutritious foods. Simply enough, you may eat more when you are hungry. In addition, you may be less choosy, and more concerned about finding quick options than healthy ones, when you are overly hungry. 

Changing Focus


Sometimes in life, priorities shift. Weight loss and fitness may have been at the top of your list when you started Lark DPP, but other things may have come up since then. A new job, an addition to your family, or new health concerns in another family member may be taking up time and energy that previously had been dedicated to cooking healthy meals and going for walks. 

Losing Motivation


What were your reasons for starting Lark DPP? They may have included preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes and losing weight. Chances are, there were several other reasons, such as being able to keep up with your children, friends, or grandchildren, wanting to look better and feel better about yourself, and pleasing your doctor. Motivation may decrease if you forget why you started in the first place, and it can be more difficult to convince yourself to make the choices you know will get you back on track.

Caving into Temptation


Temptation is everywhere. It can come in the form of doughnuts and bagels in morning meetings, cakes and pizza in the break room, leftovers in the fridge at home, and salty and sweet snacks in the pantry. Other temptations can be irresistible ads, on billboards, online, and on television, for burgers, candy bars, sugary cereal, frozen or boxed meals, and restaurants offering deals on oversized meals, such as three-course dinners or all-you-can-eat buffets.

If too many of these are present too often, it can be hard to pass up everything. Instead, you may find yourself sampling a bite here and there, or making decisions, such as what to purchase at the supermarket or which restaurant to eat at, based on advertisements that you see.

Being Tired


Sleep is not for wimps or lazy people. Sleep is for smart people who want to feel and perform their best, who want to lower blood sugar and reduce risk for diabetes and other chronic conditions, and who want to lose weight more easily. Sleep deprivation is more than an annoying feeling. It causes more hunger, increased insulin resistance, and more cravings for sugary and starchy foods. 

Sleep deprivation may be playing a role if you notice that you are feeling more tired or hungrier, or if you are sleeping less than you were when everything was right on track. If you have been using Lark DPP for a while now, checking your sleep records can clue you into your sleep trends. If you have not been tracking sleep, now may be a good time to start.

Lapses can have multiple causes, and identifying them can help you get past the lapse. Listing reasons for your own lapse gives you the chance to brainstorm ways to address them in ways that work for you and your lifestyle. Speaking of individual solutions, Lark DPP is right there to cheer you on as you find yours. For more help, the next check-in offers solution ideas for the above-mentioned causes.

Written by Natalie Stein on April 21, 2020
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health
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