There is no such thing as a perfect life without challenges, and no such thing as perfect weight loss without the occasional hiccup. A weight loss setback is an inevitable part of the weight loss journey, learning to handle them is vital for long term success. Developing strategies for overcoming slips is the most important element of your weight loss journey and maintenance, so here’s 5 recovery tips to help you move on from those pesky unintended behaviours:
1. Revisit and recognise Don’t let a weight loss setback throw you off track, you won’t feel any better if you abandon your efforts. Instead of ignoring the cause, revisit the situation in your head and work out why things went wrong. By doing this you can decide what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation in the future. Ask yourself the right questions and uncover the trigger. Start with the physiological first as hunger, tiredness, pain or hormones can be strong drivers to overeat. If these can be eliminated, were you affected by an emotion? Look at where you were and how you were feeling at the time. Once you understand WHY, you can equip yourself to deal with the trigger more positively if or when it arises again.
2. Back to basics Usually motivation levels are high in the first few weeks of a weight loss plan. If you’ve slipped back just look at what you were doing differently in the weeks that you were happy with. Perhaps you were writing a food diary, measuring out water or planning meals in advance. Go back to the simple strategies that worked when you applied them and mimic these to help you get back on track.
3. Remember the benefits A weight loss setback gives you the opportunity to revisit what prompted you to take action in the first place. Like anything worth doing, the benefits you stand to gain by losing weight are amazing and have not changed. They are still there for you to look forward to, providing you’re prepared to dust yourself down and keep going. It’s important not to view the situation as considerably worse than it actually is, but to accept that ups and downs are inevitable and normal.
4. No guilt required Blaming yourself and feeling guilt can lead to bingeing. Guilt depletes your emotional energy and leaves you frozen and unable to progress. Free yourself from this feeling by acknowledging, accepting and moving on. Remind yourself that you’re human and practice self-compassion so you will be free to move forward towards your goal.
5. Focus on the positive Look at all the good things you’re doing, even the smallest daily achievements. Counteract any negative thoughts you may have by writing down a list of positive changes you’ve made recently, keep writing and repeating the good things and notice how you start to feel better about yourself as the setback becomes but a vague memory.