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Weight Issues Don’t Die or Fade Away. A Relapse Prevention Plan is Necessary.

Posted Jul 05 2013 7:37am

Where does the old behavior go when you get rid of it or replace it with new behavior?

Let’s say you’ve been dieting successfully and you lost a lot of weight already. You’re not at goal weight yet, but that’s right around the corner. O.K., you’ve just about mastered the first leg of your weight loss journey, which is losing your unwanted weight.

The second leg is coming up. That’s where you’ve got to keep off the weight you lost. Put in behavioral terms, the old eating-too-much behavior and eating too-many-calorie-rich-food behavior must be gone, and the new eating-so-you-don’t-gain-weight behavior must take its place. This is where the question “where does the old behavior go” become a central issue.

For your own sake, you should know that the old behavior never goes away for good, not by a long shot. Even if you maintain your weight loss for a good, long time, the old behavior is never really fully extinguished, never completely banished from your repertoire. There are ways, though, to minimize the chance of your old behavior taking over again. Relapse prevention, for that is what making sure you do not revert to old eating behavior, does really work, especially if you make sure to learn and apply your new behavior (eating to maintain your weight loss) in as many different contexts as you can.


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