by Melinda D. Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDE
When embarking on the path to losing weight, the route is not always an even downhill slope. There are plateaus, bumps and road blocks. What do you do when you hit a rough spot or if you just feel like you’ve lost your motivation? You’ll be better able to navigate the route if you’ve planned ahead.
If you step on the scale and there is no change or it has gone up…
- Remind yourself that plateaus happen.
- Don’t beat yourself up, but instead practice saying something positive, “I’m working hard, and I can do this!”
- If you’re not surprised and you can identify the reasons (less activity due to a rainy week?) … write down 2 things you can do differently next time. (find a mall that welcomes walkers; search for some online exercise videos)
- If the plateau or weight gain comes as a complete surprise, consider keeping the food journal for a week to identify what might be a contributing factor. Are you triggered to eat when you’re watching TV? Are your portion sizes getting larger?
- Talk with your doctor. Maybe you’re taking a medicine that contributes to weight gain, or maybe there is a different medicine you could start that could help you lose weight.
- Not sure how to evaluate the options out there to help you lose weight? Use this handy checklist from the Canadian Obesity Network: http://www.obesitynetwork.ca/checklist
If it’s been a terrible few days, eating too much of the wrong types of food…
- Don’t wait for “tomorrow” or “Monday” to start again – but know that you can be back on track with the very next meal.
- Take a long walk.
- Keep yourself well hydrated so you’ll feel full. Invest in a nice water bottle and keep it with you.
- Think about what triggered you to overeat. Is there something you can do differently next time?
- Acknowledge that avoiding certain foods is hard and keep a record of the things you almost ate – but didn’t! Congratulate yourself on what you were able to avoid or limit.
If you’re tired of eating the same boring food…
- Plan out menus over the weekend incorporating something new each week.
- Keep some quick meal options available to minimize decisions such as frozen entrees or weight loss shakes.
- Take a look at weight loss magazines and cookbooks at your local library.
- Enjoy exploring some of the many weight loss blogs. Many share helpful new recipe ideas
If you’re feeling discouraged, unsupported and alone…
- Invite a friend or family member to be your weight loss buddy or sponsor.
- Participate in online peer support communities such as My Weight- What To Know
- Look into weight management groups such as Weight Watchers or learn what is offered at your local health department or clinic. Not only will you get some structured ideas for healthy eating, but you’ll have an automatic support network.
To learn why the all or nothing mentality for weight loss doesn’t work, click here.
To find a weight management physician in the United States near you, click here.
To find a weight management physician in Canada near you, click here.