How To Deal With And Prevent Diet Relapses – Lose Weight Fast Academy

How To Deal With And Prevent Diet Relapses – Lose Weight Fast Academy

It happens to the best of us: you’ve eaten good nutritious foods and exercised hard for weeks, and then one drink at a party or a slice of cake at work when your colleagues pressure you into it sends you into a downward spiral of eating crap foods and exercising too little.

It’s very common that people experience temporary relapses back to unhealthy ways of eating and doing very little exercise, especially while a healthy active lifestyle is still new. But it’s not just the people who are new to a healthy lifestyle who suffer relapses. It can happen to people who have been eating healthy and exercising for years.

But what triggers these relapses? Finding out the answer to this question will help you to avoid future relapses altogether or at least to overcome them very quickly.

Most relapses in my experience happen for 3 reasons.

Eating a trigger food, going through a stressful situation or meeting a new partner.

What Is A Trigger Food

Trigger foods come in all flavours and sizes, but nearly all contain one (or all) of the big 3, salt, sugar or fat.

set of fast foodProcessed foods are the most powerful trigger foods. These foods are literally made with your brain chemistry in mind, factoring in the addictive qualities of salt, sugar and fat as well as addictive chemicals such as aspartame and MSG. When the desire for sweets feels unbearable your body is literally craving more. This is why one slice of cake can lead to an entire weekend binge or even a week long binge.

To avoid a relapse, stay clear of packaged foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. Also avoid any processed foods which contain chemicals such as aspartame and MSG. Some of the worst offenders are soft drinks, even the diet drinks.

If you do fall victim to a trigger food, use the following 3 steps to get back on your feet, and back to eating and exercising right.

  1. Decide straight away that your relapse is over and consciously eat healthy again.
  2. Remove the triggers from your home. 
  3. Refocus your goals.

Falling for the occasional trigger food happens to the best of us. The way you cope with it is the difference between reaching your goal or hitting a plateau and even going backwards.

Make sure if you slip up then it’s a one off and it doesn’t turn into a week-long binge or even longer. A one off slip up is ok it’s when it turns into a longer period of time eating unhealthy when it affects you badly. Make sure after a slip up you consciously get straight back into healthy eating.


Using unhealthy foods to cope with stressful situations is another very common reason for relapsing.

If people have financial stresses, stresses with work, relationship stress or any other kind of stress often they turn to food for comfort.

The reason being is that sugar releases dopamine your brain pleasure hormone. When you are stressed you want a reward to make you feel happy and sugar is a big reward for the brain through the release of dopamine. Unfortunately eating sugary foods such as chocolate is only a temporary fix to your problems and only gives you a few moments of pleasure.  After the initial hit of dopamine you are left feeling even worse as not only is the stress still there but you feel guilty you have cheated on your diet and you often feel bloated as well.

If you do end up cheating on your diet because of stress then you need to become consciously aware of your stress triggers and consciously override them. You need to ask yourself before eating comfort food will eating junk food really help you to feel better in the long run and get rid of your problems. If it will make you feel better in the long run and it will help you get rid of your problems then go ahead and eat it (it doesn’t), but if it’s just a temporary fix and it will make you feel worse in the long run and it will prevent you reaching your goal then don’t eat it.

Stress eating is not an easy thing to overcome but if you make yourself aware of it then you can make a conscious decision to override your temptation of eating comfort foods. If you can think that eating the junk food won’t get rid of the stress it will just make things worse then this is the first step to coping with stress eating.

If you do give into the temptation of comfort foods then it is important you don’t feel guilty. Most people feel guilty they have cheated and end up going on a binge. If you do end up cheating because of stress then consciously make sure it’s a one off and that you get straight back to your healthy eating plan. Refocus on your goal and consciously make sure you get back on track.

Meeting a new partner

The third common reason people relapse is when they meet a new partner. When people meet someone new and start dating, often they go out for meals and go out for drinks. This isn’t a problem on the odd occasion but when people start dating they tend to go out regularly, especially if they really like the person.

Young couple in love

Before they know it they haven’t been to the gym for a few weeks and they have been eating less healthy and have gained a few pounds. They then feel guilty they have let all the hard work go to waste and struggle to get back into the gym and their healthy diet.

Often it is a few months down the line when they have gained a stone or two that they decide to do something about it.

My advice with this is to do everything in moderation from the start. Yes go out for meals and drinks but don’t do this all the time, come up with more active dates. Go bowling, go rock climbing or even go for a walk down the beach or in the countryside. All of your dates don’t have to revolve around eating and drinking. Find other ways to enjoy each other’s company which are more active.

It is also important you make time for the gym. You could train in the morning instead of the evenings so you can still train and go out on dates. You could even go to the gym for 20 or 30 minutes instead of an hour or go once or twice per week instead of four or five times. The important thing is to make time for exercise. Even if it’s not as much as normal doing some exercise will help to keep the weight off and prevent you relapsing.

If you use the above advice then you can help avoid a relapse in your healthy lifestyle or if you do relapse and cheat on your diet then you can overcome it very quickly and get straight back into your healthy eating plan and exercise.

The most important thing to remember is if you do relapse and cheat then don’t feel guilty. Learn from your mistake for next time and just get straight back into your healthy diet at your next meal and have a workout as soon as you can. The sooner you get back to eating healthy and exercising the sooner you will feel better again.

Please comment below if you have any triggers not discussed which lead to you relapsing and I will come up with ways to address these triggers in a future blog post.


Get fit, get healthy, get happy.

Your Coach For Life

Shaun McGill


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