Weight Gain Stressing You Out? Here's What You Need to Get Back on Track.
Have you ever stepped on the scale and thought, “Wait! There’s no way that’s right!?” Yeah, I think we’ve all been there. And sometimes, it seems to come out of nowhere. I mean, you know your pants were feeling a little snug, but how did you manage to gain 20 pounds?!
And there’s an obvious solution, right? Get back to the gym, eat a healthier diet, and you’ll be back to normal in no time. Except that seemingly simple equation doesn’t always feel so simple when you feel like you’ve failed in the weight-loss department. In fact, when you finally get that wakeup call that a change is necessary, it can feel almost impossible to get yourself motivated and moving back in the right direction.
So how do you do it? How do you overcome the frustration, and the doubt, and the lack of motivation to get back to a healthy weight?
Well, I won’t tell you that it’s going to be easy. Weight loss takes patience, consistency, and a lot of hard work. But I will tell you this— it’s absolutely possible. You can do this. And here are 6 ways to get back on track and set yourself up for success.
1. Get started ASAP.
Whether it’s readjusting after a long vacation or starting back up after an extended hiatus from the gym, it can be really tough to start that first workout or plan that first meal. And when you’re already unfocused, getting back on track feels like an uphill battle when you’re searching for the “perfect” time.
But let’s face it, there’s never going to be a perfect time to get going (I’m looking at all of you out there who keep telling yourself you’ll start on Monday)— and all that waiting truly does is waste valuable time.
After all, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach the finish line, right?
So what if you can’t devote an hour to your workout today? Move your body for 20 minutes. Or maybe you have plans for a big meal this weekend? There’s nothing stopping you from fueling your body with lean protein and an extra serving of vegetables for each meal today.
Weight loss isn’t linear— you’re going to have ups and down throughout the entire process. What really matters is that the balance of healthy decisions outweigh the negative ones. So why not start adding to the win column by starting your comeback right now?
2. Focus on the small stuff.
Staring at a big number on the scale can feel really overwhelming. And when this happens, I usually see people react in one of two ways. Some people give up completely and keep up their negative behaviors. The others? They go overboard trying to correct the whole problem at once. Either way, it usually ends in disaster.
What those people didn’t understand is that success comes from taking those small steps. After all, you can’t lose 50 pounds in one month (no matter what those teas or programs on social media tell you), so why are you letting that obstacle stand in your way?
Instead of obsessing over how much there is to do, realistically look at what can be accomplished. Put all your energy into losing the 5 pounds that can actually be lost this month. Commit to adding 1,000 steps to your daily total. Limit yourself to eating sweets or drinking alcohol once a week.
By setting small, achievable goals, you can create the momentum you need to climb the whole mountain. You’ll be amazed how quickly those small changes can snowball into real progress.
3. Get over the guilt.
It’s easy to feel guilt, shame, or embarrassment when you’ve put on weight. But the truth is, those negative feelings don’t do anything except keep you feeling terrible.
Stop beating yourself up because you didn’t get to the gym today. Don’t spiral out of control because you’re on the couch eating cookies every night. Instead, make a plan that allows you to take back control of your behavior and start moving forward again.
Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Have some quality snacks on hand— like greek yogurt, fruit, or a high-quality protein shake— to tame those sweet cravings. And when those feelings of guilt or shame come creeping in? Try one of these mental health apps to help you refocus your energy in a positive direction.
4. Have a (meal) plan.
After a few weeks (or months) or unhealthy eating, you might find it tough to rein yourself in. Believe me, we’ve all been there. But that’s where a great meal plan can be your best defense.
By planning your meals in advance, you’ll be helping to eliminate the temptation to fall back on bad habits. You’ll also be planning your meals to keep yourself feeling full (instead of binging on junk food when you’re starving at the end of the day).
And if you want to take things a step further? Try prepping your meals or ingredients in advance to not only keep your goals on track, but also to help you maintain those healthy habits in the middle of your crazy, hectic schedule.
5. Consider enlisting professional help.
After an extended break, sometimes it can be helpful to call in the big guns to help get you going and keep you accountable.
Connect with a personal trainer to help you design and stick to an effective new workout program. Speak to your primary care physician about the healthy changes you’re making and see if there are any diagnostic tests that need to be run. Check in with a physical therapist if you’re dealing with chronic pain or injury. You might even consider speaking to a mental health professional about why you packed on those pounds in the first place.
These are smart people who make a living helping others lead healthier lives— and they might have just the answer you need to get real, sustainable results. All you have to do is ask.
6. Get by with a little help from your friends.
When you’re trying to get your health back on track, it can be tempting to keep your plans to yourself (especially if you’re feeling any of that shame or embarrassment that we talked about earlier). But if you’re shutting your friends and family out of your weight loss journey, you might be ignoring one of the most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal.
Remember— these are the people who care about you. They want to see you succeed!
And they can provide an awesome cheering section to celebrate your accomplishments— or give you a kick in the ass when you need it most. Who knows, they might even want to join you and create healthy lifestyle changes for themselves.
Weight gain happens, but it doesn’t have to keep you down. No matter what, I know you can do this. Keep pushing forward and don’t give up!
I want to hear your thoughts. Have you ever gained weight unexpectedly? What made you motivated to make a change? Do you have any tips to share? Hit me up with anything you’ve got at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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