Fallen Off the Diet Wagon? Don't Despair
Indulge your sweet tooth and maintain your diet
By Carol Sorgen
Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
You know how it goes. You're cruising along, following your eating plan, working out -- in general, doing everything right. The next thing you know, one slice of pizza turns into six, one scoop of ice cream turns into a pint, and you're banging your head against the wall asking yourself where you went wrong.
The answer is, you didn't.
"Having a dieting relapse isn't a matter of if, it's a matter of when," says Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD, chief scientist for Weight Watchers International in Woodbury, N.Y.
Ann Kramer, EdS, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor in Florida, agrees. "I constantly encourage my clients not to go on a diet, but to live a diet," she says. "They need to focus their lives on the development of their 'wholeness' -- in terms of their physical, emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual selves."
Since falling off the diet wagon is almost a given, what's important, says Miller-Kovach, is knowing what to do when it happens. "When it comes to maintaining weight loss, people who have developed good relapse skills during the weight-loss process are much more likely to keep the weight off."
There are two different kinds of relapses, says Miller-Kovach. The first -- and the easier one to deal with -- is the acute relapse. You're going along fine and then, "you just lose it."