Hands up who had a relapse?

Don’t feel guilty if your plan to lose weight went off track. A lapse or relapse is all part of a weight loss journey, so find out how to get back on track.

Think about a specific time when you were actively losing weight. How good did you feel? How easy did it feel?

Living a healthy lifestyle in London with or without diabetes is challenging, but understanding and learning from lapses can help your long-term weight loss plan succeed.

When did you have your last lapse?

External triggers: seeing or smelling food

Often seeing, smelling or talking about food, makes us grab a snack without thinking. These are known as external triggers.

We’ve all walked past a bakers, or fish and chip shop, or gone to a work event and seen the cakes and chocolates being handed around. You may be sat next to someone whose lunch always looks and smells better than yours and you want the same.

Don’t beat yourself up if you give in once in a while. You can have a treat at times. Remember it’s about what you eat over a longer duration, say three months to one year, that result in long term weight loss or gain.

We can email you our new 3 day and 7 day food diaries, they are great for tracking unplanned eating occasions.

How you feel affects what you eat

Your emotions, or how you’re  feeling, play a big part in any health improvement plan. We eat and drink to celebrate when we’re happy or use food to make us feel better when we’re, sad, angry or stressed. This is a learned behaviour.

Over time, we give in to external or internal triggers which soon add up calorie wise.

If a person gives in to a visual trigger like a TV advert, and has a 200 kcal unplanned snack a couple of times a week, it can mean an extra 400 kcal extra a week. Over a year that extra 400 kcals a week equals 20,800 extra calories.

Roughly, you would need to run at least seven London Marathons to burn off that many calories in a year, although this does depend on things like your age, weight and gender. (This calculation is based on a 165 lb runner who burns off 2,822 calories running a marathon.)

Our pilot tweak your week email support campaign offers different tools, links to recipes and much more. It might help you prevent lapses and reduce food cravings.

How to beat food cravings

We spend our life sharing food treats to celebrate special times, like birthdays, weddings and family gatherings. These happy events are worth sharing and enjoying, but there are also times when we just fancy something nice, and it’s good to notice why we have these cravings.

So let’s look at the times when we just fancy something nice, and how we can practice responding differently.

A good way to deal with a food craving is by using “the 20-minute rule”, which means looking or thinking of the food you fancy and saying to yourself: “I will wait 20 minutes and if I still want it then I can have it.” Set the clock if it helps.

Setting the pause button by asking yourself if you’re really hungry, or just craving something may help you in that moment. Following this simple rule may prevent many unplanned eating moments, over the months and years – and that’s a lot of calories.

If you get the same craving each day, around the same time, you may want to look at how regular your eating patterns are. Our downloadable food diaries can help you monitor this. If the craving happens a lot, it might be that you are actually hungry or thirsty because you haven’t eaten or drunk water for a while.