Sticking to a weight loss regime can be a hard job especially if it involves losing the weight in long period of time. The first few weeks it is easy to keep motivated especially if you can see the pounds falling off. As time progress, weight loss can slow down, maybe hit a plateau, hit a few parties, or simply lose interest and perspective.
Before you know it all the good work seems to disappear and the pounds slip back on. So what can you do to get back on track? Read our tips on how to get back on your weight loss goals and avoid more disappointment.
Short term mishaps:
1# Put it behind you.
Did you find yourself in a binge week or two? Well it happens especially if circumstances are full of temptations. The trick here is not to give up and not to panic. If you keep dithering about that meal last night, or the party last week and how much you eaten or drank, then you will be spending your energy on things you cannot change. The result will most likely be to feel bad and comfort eat. Then you will definitely be putting the pounds back on.
Put it behind you and get back on track. It is unlikely that one day’s overeating will tip the scales, but if you give up now it will be even harder to start again. Go back to your plans, re-evaluate and continue with your goals. See also: How to stop binge eating at night.
2# Don’t be hard on yourself.
If you slipped out of your goals and had a bit more than you should don’t go back thinking that you have to make up for it. What happened happened and treat it as a little mishap. It is common for people to say I had that chocolate at dinner so I will skip supper, or I had a bit extra last night I will eat less today. Cycling calories through the days can have a benefit, but torturing or starving yourself to make up for calories will only feel hard and you are likely to give up altogether. Just go back to eating healthy and it will all follow its course.
3# Re-evaluate your regime
Do you find yourself slipping up all the time and it is hard to stay on your weight loss goals? Well it could be as simple as the regime you are following is not ‘good’ for you. There are hundreds of weight loss regimes, diets, and methods to choose from. You can also read our most popular diets review to help you with your decision. Maybe the regime you are following has worked for thousands of people or it was great 2 years ago when you did it but this time it may not be what you need.
Go back to the beginning and think what makes you slip up, what is hard about it and why it doesn’t work. Re-evaluating a weight loss regime applies to both short term and long term goals. It could be that you hit a plateau, or you feel bored after dieting for a year. Even if a regime worked for a period of time it may be good to re-evaluate and see what you could change, add, remove adapt. Make you weight loss follow you and not always the other way around.
Slowdowns and plateaus:
4# Motivate yourself.
Plateaus happen to more or less everybody. Your body keeps adjusting to losing weight and it can slow down in the speed it loses weight. This tends to be the time when people lose motivation and start feeling frustrated. First be realistic about it and be patient. Maybe you haven’t lost much the last weeks but keep in mind that it can happen. It is important to keep your motivation going. Do re-evaluate your regime first (see above).
One way to start in motivating yourself is by thinking how much you have achieved so far and concentrate on the positive. Remind yourself why you wanted to lose the weight in the first place. Make a motivation list with all the goals and things you want to gain by losing weight. Is it to look good on your wedding, or for health reasons, to fit in an outfit or to feel better about yourself? Whatever the reason is what made you start in the first place. For more motivation tips also read our ‘I want to lose weight but have no motivation’ article.
5# Beat the boredom.
Boredom is another major factor why people give up weight loss dieting. Following a specific diet for a couple of weeks can be easy, but following the same all diet for months can be like a prison sentence and no surprise people want to just escape from it. Firstly is best to opt for weight loss regimes which promote a healthy balance diet rather than restrictive diets. The first ones tend to allow more freedom in choosing menus and the foods you can eat and so it is harder to feel bored. An example is Mediterranean style diets which tend to include foods from all categories and have a vast amount of recipes and menus. See also: The real benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
Another option is to change the regime you follow. I have already mentioned above about re-evaluating your regime and whether it works for you. Look around as well and find a regime which works for you.
6# Get physically active
If you have hit the dreaded plateau point and you are not sure how to get going again try being more physically active. Plateaus and slowdown can generate a lot of frustration and you can easily give up on your goals. Physical activity whether is structured exercise or just going for a walk can increase the amount of calories you burn and kick start the weight loss again.
Chose something fun which you will enjoy and you are likely to stick to it. Going to the gym is not to everybody’s liking (including me) or budget. However, there are so many fun activities and options to choose from. Look at a local club or gym to see what other activities they offer. Some ideas are: start a class like dancing or Pilates, start swimming possibly as a family activity, join a sport or see if there are running groups in your area.
As a start think what do you like and what suits you. Then search to see what’s available and go for it. Once you start seeing the results and feeling the benefits you will not want to stop.
7# Think positive
It is time to stop being negative about yourself and start loving what you see in the mirror every day. Maybe you have a few or a lot of extra pounds and it could be that you are fed up with the way you look. However, if you are always negative about your weight you will only make yourself feel bad and struggle through ‘must do’ weight loss diets.
Change that attitude towards to a more positive and loving way, your body is something precious and it does deserve the best you can give to it. Losing the extra weight is not about punishing yourself for all the takeaways and binges of the last years but more like looking after ‘you’.
8# Take action
It is all good and well to say you need to lose the weight but it won’t come off by talking. Take action. Set a day and start. Planning is a very helpful tool for achieving your goals and it can be your starting point. Set a day for planning, a day for choosing your regime, a day for getting all ready (shopping, clearing cupboards etc) and a day for starting. Why not read our 20 rapid weight loss tips for extra ideas.
If you leave it to an abstract ‘I am going to start’ it may never happen or there may 100s of excuses why it should be tomorrow. Set clear days and stick to them.
9# Get support
For a lot of people finding the motivation and going the mile alone can be difficult. Having someone to do it together can provide the drive and the motivation to start again and stick to a weight loss regime. Studies also support that the most successful ‘dieters’ are those who have support.
Support can come from a lot of different sources and in many ways. Weight loss clubs could be one of them. Moreover, support could come from family, in terms of help or an ear to listen to you. A very close friend of mine wanted to lose weight but could never stick to it or stay away from temptations until her husband decide to be her weight loss ‘coach’. He supported by eating healthy and even went as far as preparing meals and packed lunches for work. It is needless to say that the result was success.
10# Find you nemesis and prepare for it.
People often have a reason why they slip off their goals or why they find it hard to get back on. This reason can be different for each one and could range from not being able to resist a chocolate to I haven’t got time to cook. That reason is your little nemesis which makes your life hard. Make a list of all the things you may think will be affecting you or do affect you in reaching those weight loss goals. Are you too busy, don’t like weight loss diets, or are there too many biscuit tins in work? Whatever it is work it out and work a plan for it.
There are ways to work around busy lifestyles when ‘dieting’, or opt for weight loss regimes which are flexible and suit your taste and lifestyle rather than strict weight loss plans, or little tricks you can do to cut down on the biscuits and sweets (see also how to control your desire for food). Losing weight can be as flexible as you want to make it.
However, don’t forget to be realistic in what you expect from your weight loss regime. If you want to follow a relatively low calorie diet, and lose a lot of weight fast, but without giving up sweets or chips it may not be possible.