Getting Back on the Weight Loss Wagon
Just Stalled, or Backsliding?
First, you need to do a brief assessment of what’s going on with your weight loss plans. Have you merely stopped making progress, or have you started regaining what you initially lost? Or, perish the thought, do you weigh more now than when you started your new program or plan?
Trust me, you’re not alone. The whole world has gone crazy, and trying to take off some pounds with everything going on may seem nearly impossible. So before with go any further, you need to let yourself off the hook. Give yourself a pass. Stop wallowing in guilt, and decide to do something about it instead.
Accepting reality is the first step. Just by reading this article, you’re ahead of the pack. Too many people have just given up under the circumstances. But not you. You’re going to acknowledge where you are and decide to do something. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result. So it’s time for something new.
Try Something New
I’m going to suggest several “re-start” strategies. Perhaps you’ll find one you like, or perhaps something will trigger an idea of your own. Don’t feel limited by what I mention here. Use it as your jumping-off point to redirect your energies.
You’ve probably heard of this approach to weight loss. I’m not going to get into great detail here, other than you suggest to you that it’s a great way to re-energize your weight loss efforts.
Basically, intermittent fasting is just alternating between fasting (limiting your consumption to water, black coffee, tea, or low-calorie beverages) and eating “normally.” Notice I said normally. I didn’t say to pig out, which might be worse than doing nothing at all.
There are several different versions, but the one I like is the 16:8 fast. You fast for 16 hours and eat normally for eight. Depending on how you structure your day, it’s really just skipping breakfast. You can still have all the coffee or tea you want. Just don’t eat anything “solid” until 16 hours is over.
My preference is to eat between noon and 8 PM. That allows me to eat a full lunch and dinner, and even snack a little bit in the evening, as long as I stop by 8 PM. Then I sleep through most of the fast. I can’t guarantee results for everyone, but I took off 1 ½ pounds during the first week of trying this. Not bad.
Switch It Up
Have you been eating the same foods and recipes over and over? Spaghetti on Monday, Mac and Cheese on Tuesday, and so forth? And the same snacks, e.g., potato chips, peanuts, crackers, Cheetos, ice cream, and on and on? You’re in a rut. You’re not even thinking about the food you put in your mouth anymore.
If you want to restart your weight loss, you’re going to need to start thinking about the food you eat again. Google some new recipes, perhaps things like jambalaya or teriyaki turkey. Get creative. And don’t stop with just recipes. Revamp your entire snacking routine. Try things like frozen grapes instead of ice cream, or carrots sticks with salsa instead of potato chips and dip. You get the idea.
You need to bring eating up to the conscious level again. It’s like you’re been eating on autopilot. Just like driving home from work and not remembering how you got home. The routine has made you oblivious to how much you’re eating, which is not good for weight loss. So shake it up. And obviously, try for some healthier versions while you’re at it.
Eliminate "Red Light" Foods
I learned something about myself a long time again. There are certain foods I just can’t be around without overeating them. I call them my “red light” foods because a red light should appear and make me stop before I get started. For example, we all know a person who bakes a pan of brownies, eats the entire thing, and then bakes another pan and takes just one to cover their tracks. Trust me, it happens.
The absolute best way to avoid this is to simply not have the “red light” food readily available. If ice cream is your nemesis, then don’t have any in the freezer. If you absolutely must have some ice cream, go out and buy one ice cream cone, and eat it mindfully. The same goes for brownies, chips, or anything else you can’t limit yourself around.
If you have a spouse or children that love these snacks, you’ll need to negotiate with them. Would they rather have their favorite snacks, or a healthy you? Okay, maybe don’t put it that way. Just cut down on how much you keep on hand, and maybe even write names on the snacks so you feel less tempted.
Yes, weight loss isn’t just about food. It’s also about getting the right amount of activity. Notice that I said “activity” and not “exercise.” Exercise sounds like work, but dancing sounds like fun. And it doesn’t have to be a “formal” thing. You might just turn on some music that you enjoy, and move along with the beat. That’s all. Just move. Then do it again, do it longer, and do it with greater intensity. If you get lost in the music, 20 minutes will just fly by.
Other things count as activity. You might consider:
- Gardening or just trimming plants in your yard
- Walking to the local store rather than taking your car
- Cutting flowers and making a bouquet
- Walking up the stairs and back down multiple times
- Bowling, darts, miniature golf, or other recreational sports
Take a Pause
What I’m suggesting here is to try just maintaining for a while, but not letting it all go wild. The idea is to take your foot off the gas and coast for a while, not to apply to the brakes. Aim to maintain, but not regain. That’s better than giving up, and could help you regain your motivation after a little time off.
Do you have any great tips that you’d like to share? Please post them in the comments below.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your weight loss efforts?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Carolyn Fields