Slip-ups are the secret to success

Yafit Galili Author
Yafit is (M.S.) Exercise Physiologist and Sports Clinical Nutritionist

Do you keep giving up? Start exercising and then quit? Eat according to a plan and then give in?

Accept the slip-ups

You made the decision to make a change, whether to get fit or to start eating healthier. You carry out certain actions in order to achieve the change, either independently or with the help of a professional. The next step is perseverance. Many of us start and then stop. The key to succeeding to persevere is to accept the fact that change includes slip-ups.

Embrace the slip-ups

Slip-ups are an integral part of the process of losing old habits and acquiring new ones. The old habits will pop up and if we do not accept that, when we have a slip-up, we will say to ourselves “In for a penny, in for a pound” and quit the process. If we have eaten something not included in the plan, we will eat more; if we skip a session of physical activity, we will stop completely.

Plan the slip-ups

The goal is that the frequency and intensity of slip-ups reduces. In order for that to happen, here are a number of recommendations:

1. Be realistic because you know your past. If, for example, when you decided to get fit in the past, you decided to exercise five times a week for an hour each time, and you did not meet your goals, and that caused you to stop completely, try to plan something you know you can achieve. For example, exercise every other day or choose a less strenuous exercise regime. Anything that will make it easier for you to ‘get up and go’ and leave you wanting more.

If, for example, you planned not to eat dessert and yet, you had a slice of cake, usually this would lead to another slice of cake (at least). What you should do is plan the slice of cake in advance. This will lead to two things happening – one is avoiding a negative eating dialogue you would have had with yourselves about the cake (which will begin at the start of the day), and the other is that you will only eat one slice of cake instead of two or more.

Another example: if you know you have a tendency to walk to the kitchen several times a night and you eat in instalments all night, prepare a plate in advance with all the food that you will eventually eat, sit at the table and concentrate on your plate of food. Chances are, you will eat half of what is on your plate.

2. Plan a basic eating outline that suits you. When you plan to eat an amount that is not enough for you, there will be too many slip-ups. You need to readjust your diet, particularly when there is a change in your levels of activity (you are welcome to have a personal consultation with me).

3. Adapt the plan to your schedule and your biological clock. If you are not morning people, do not try to exercise in the morning because you will not be able to persevere. If you skipped planned evening exercise because you were too tired, try to exercise immediately after work instead of going home first (especially for the singles among you).

4. Activities with the children count as physical activity. If you are a parent, you can plan daily exercise with your children such as cycling, skateboarding, or roller-blading for your children while you run / walk alongside them, or cycle, board or roller-blade with them. Exercise while your children are enjoying the facilities at a park. If you have a baby – walk or run with a designated stroller. Like the beach? Kayak or paddleboard with the children (this is the season for it), and more.

*You must, of course, look for the source of slip-ups (automatic slip-ups – see article about Solving Life Problems with Food).

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  • Wellbeing