Session 13


We know that sometimes lifestyle change is hard. Nobody is perfect, and slips happen. The important thing is to get back on track quickly.

Caught with cookie

What are Slips?

Slips are times when we do not follow our plans for healthy eating or being active. Slips are normal and happen to everyone at one time or other. However, slips do not always have to hurt our progress.

What hurts our progress is when we react to slips with negative thinking.

Why do we slip?

Different things cause people to slip. We talked about cues that make us eat or not be active. Moods or feelings cause many of us to slip from healthy eating. Some of us overeat when we are happy, others when we are sad or bored. 

Slips, if repeated, become a habit. Similarly the way we react to slips is also a habit.

The Downward Spiral

This can lead to a downward spiral of a series of thoughts or actions which feeds back into itself, causing the situation to become progressively worse. More negative thinking and more harmful behavior can completely disrupt your efforts to achieve your weight loss goal.

Sara’s Story

Woman wearing white smiling


Sara had adopted some new healthy eating habits and had made walking a regular part of her activity plan, and was only a few pounds away from reaching her UPrevent weight goal. Her husband invited the entire family out for a birthday dinner at Sara’s favorite Italian restaurant. Sara watched as everyone ordered cheesy pasta dishes.

Negative thought

She thought “It’s my birthday, “I deserve to treat myself”

Slip/ Harmful behavior

so when her family encouraged her to have her favorite, the lasagna, she did, followed by a big piece of birthday cake. The following morning Sara didn’t want to weigh herself. She wanted to continue celebrating her special day and opened up the box of chocolates her sister gave her as a present.

Negative Thought

She became upset at not staying on track and began to feel like there’s no use in trying. She thought “If I can’t even enjoy my birthday, why even bother?”

Slip/Harmful behavior

She became more frustrated and didn’t go for her walk, instead she ate a couple more pieces of chocolate to make herself feel better.

The good news is that we can learn new ways to react to slips and get back on track again

As you go forward with this program, remember two things:

Slips are normal and are to be expected. Just about everyone who tries to lose weight and be more active has slips.

A slip is a temporary setback not a failure. Overeating once, no matter how extreme, will NOT ruin everything. Just get back on your feet, and continue to work toward your goals.

After a Slip

Talk back to negative thoughts with positive thoughts

– Negative thoughts are your worst enemy. Talk back. “I am not a failure because I slipped. I am back on my feet again.”


Ask yourself how the slip happened.

– Learn from the slip. Can you avoid the cue in the future? Will you be able to handle the situation better?

Regain control as soon as possible

– Make your very next meal a healthy one. Get back on schedule with your activity plan right away.

Talk to someone supportive

– Contact your Lifestyle Coach or another friend and discuss your new plan for handling slips. Commit yourself to a new effort.

Focus on all the positive changes you made

– Weight loss is a journey with lots of small decisions and choices every day that add up over time. Focus on all the positive changes you have made and realize that you can get back on track.

Learn from past experience


Think about the situations that caused you to slip from your healthy eating and being active in the past


Plan how you can avoid repeating it


Come up with an action plan for getting back on track as soon as possible

Create A Positive Action Plan

During the week, I will:

Think of one of the most common slips in my healthy eating plan.


Think of one of the most common slips in my regular exercise schedule.


Identify the negative thinking (underlying causes) behind those slips.


Plan how I can avoid similar slips in the future for each.


Keep track of my weight, calories, and physical activity.