The Foolproof Way To Get Back On Track When You Blow Your Diet

I was at the gym today on the treadmill listening to the two guys next to me lament about their ups and downs of weight loss. One of the guys had lost over 100 pounds several different times, which also means that he has gained over 100 pounds several times.

There is nothing as overwhelming as seeing that scale start to creep up. It happens to everyone, but how far you let the creep continue is up to you.

Scale creep happens because of the small, daily decisions, ones that you thought were just a big dinner, or a skipped workout were explained away in your mind as isolated incidents. But they are not. The little things add up, and they can add up fast if you don’t pay attention.

Gaining weight back is a similar path to how you took the weight off. When you lost one or two pounds a week, you made daily accountability decisions and choices that resulted in weight loss. Maybe it was your daily or weekly weigh-in on the scale, maybe it was your big salad for lunch, or pulling out your jeans to see if they fit yet. All of those little changes, those small decisions added up to your weight loss.

Gaining weight back follows a similar pattern. Remember, you didn’t lose the weight in a measured exact way of three pounds per week every week, and you don’t gain it the same way. It usually starts with one little trigger.

The Fourth of July bash and your birthday only a week apart … YIKES. One little trigger, for example an over the top meal: a big steak, baked stuffed potato, a little of the crab appetizer and the chocolate cheesecake, topped with drink after drink in celebration. You feel so lethargic the next day, which I call a food hangover, that you break your normal oatmeal/blueberry morning and you have a cup of coffee and a croissant just to function the next day and curb your food withdrawal.

Since you “messed up” breakfast, you say “screw” it to lunch and have the pizza you’ve been missing. Once you’ve had the pizza for lunch, you think, might has well have the fried chicken for dinner because I’ve totally blown it. What’s one more meal?

Maybe your scale ran out of batteries and you don’t have that accountability that you’ve been so diligent about when you lost weight. You just stop weighing in because you no longer have your scale. Two weeks go by and you’re so scared of seeing what that number will be, you go another week without weighing in. Three weeks turn into four and the pounds continue to pile on.

It can be as simple as wearing comfy sweats for 4 days in a row. They feel so big and roomy, that you eat an extra muffin and you think, wow, I must be doing great because everything still fits! (I’ve done that one myself, many times, then I finally “wake up”, pull up my jeans and say, ughh!!!! What was I thinking!?!??).

It’s all those little decisions, the same daily decisions you made when you were losing weight, that result in adding the pounds back.

The most FOOLPROOF to get back on track is to commit to one good day.

If one good day seems overwhelming , commit to one good meal. Just one. If you have already blown breakfast, then make your lunch your “on track” option … something that will give you energy, make you feel great, and give you the confidence that you can do it. Often, just one positive decision, one good lunch, one good run, can give you the jolt you crave to shake it up and get you back on the track of losing the weight. You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there. Get out of the water and get back on track!

The Only Way You Fail Is If You Quit

Some of my clients are facing new weight loss challenges and the dreaded plateau, but you can actually be on a successful weight loss track, and because you don’t KNOW what a successful track looks like, it may feel like you are failing.

Once you believe that you have screwed up, it is easy to say “screw it” and really screw up. I am good at that! If only you knew how well you were doing! While success does depend on your specific goals, starting point, body type and exercise routine, there are a few things that are consistent across the board. Here are some things to consider:

1. Weight loss does NOT come in the form of losing two pounds every week until you reach your goal, no matter how well you’ve stuck to your food and exercise plan.

When you gain weight, you don’t gain two pounds every single week in a measured fashion. You’re not going to lose it in a measured fashion no matter how well you stick to your plan. You might lose two pounds one week. You might even lose three pounds in a week. Then, you might lose one pound the next week.

Some weeks you might lose zero, and there are weeks you even gain. These weeks are the most frustrating, and we all have these kinds of weeks where we feel like we’re doing everything right and the scale doesn’t give us what we want.

Keep track of the weekly weigh-ins but take a look at the month and see the overall trend. You might have gained a 1/2 pound one of the weeks but take note if you lost 4 pounds overall for the month. If the month is trending downwards, you are in the right place.

2. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time.

Just because you went out drinking and ate all the bread, stuffed yourself with fried food and had two desserts, and then woke up and had eggs Benedict the next day does not mean you have failed.

Everyone does this.

We all make a commitment and we all slip up. I ate an entire chocolate cake the other day. You fell. So what? Learn what will work for you to get back on track. You can fall and still be on a successful weight loss track by simply making the decision to get back there.

Real life weight loss is like a marathon, some miles are effortless, some are excruciating and the only way you really fail is if you quit.

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