“One way to prepare for lapses is to recognize them,” says Stevens, director of distance education for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America in Sherman Oaks, Calif. “Accept that they are a very strong possibility but not the end of ones program. Create a list of things that may cause a slip or relapse, such as an upcoming vacation, hectic holiday schedule, change in job, relationship or living space. Once you write those things down you can evaluate them in terms of how they will effect your existing or desired workout routine.”
Stevens and exercise physiologist Jason Karp weighed in on how to avoid other common weight loss lapses.
How Do You Keep A Week Away From The Gym From Becoming A Month?
“A lot of that is just like any other habit. You have to ingraine it. You have to be consistent with it,” Karp says. “First and foremost, they have to have that desire. It has to be something that becomes completely important to them. The person has to really, really want to lose weight.”
“It helps to have a workout partner,” Stevens says. “Typically one will help keep the other motivated. It is unusual for both to not want to workout. And by having to be accountable to someone else, you are much more likely to show up. Another option would be to hire a trainer. Once you know it costs you extra, you tend to show up.”
How Do You Prepare For and Recover From Vacations?
“If you are going on a vacation in a few weeks, you could call and find out in advance whether there is a gym in your hotel or where a local workout option might be,” Stevens says. “You could also prepare to lessen the guilt of an exercise-free vacation by adding in a workout or two extra the weeks before you go. Or you can make a conscious effort to include more outdoor sightseeing activities like hikes or bike rides. By thinking it out before it happens, you are in control of the lapse and ready for it.”
Will Going Too Healthy Too Soon Lead To Burnout?
“A lot of people think that they have to do so much exercise and initially it’s too much. They get overwhelmed,” Karp says. “It’s harder when someone says, ‘I have to exercise an hour a day and completely change my diet.’ It’s easier if they start with two days a week of exercise and just change one area of their diet. Then they can start taking on more physically and psychologically.”
“Here is where it really helps to hire someone to help plan your program,” Stevens says. “That might mean a registered dietitian or certified personal trainer. It will be well worth it in the long run.”
Weight Loss Planner: Stay on the fast track