Feeling Lost With Your Weight Loss? You Can Get Back on Track

iStock_000016879295_FullWhen you’re feeling lost or off the track with your weight loss goals, isn’t it hard to know where to start? One of my weight loss accountability partners said to me “As for me, I have not been doing that well at all. I do not have any goals set right now. I am way off. I have to figure something out. Lost right now. ” It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well it doesn’t have to be. The best thing you can do is start from where you are. Here’s how.

 Start from where you are.

Take 10% of the weight you are now.

Assuming that losing 10% of your current weight is a safe and healthy amount for you to lose, this is a good number to start with. If the amount of weight you need to lose is less than 10% of your current weight, start with your goal weight and subtract your current weight. Whether your goal is to lose 10% of your weight or less, write down the amount of weight you want to lose.

Decide how many weeks it would take to lose 10% of your current weight at a rate of 1/2 lb to 2 lbs a week.

For example, if you are 200 lbs, and your 10% weight loss goal is to lose 20 lbs at a rate of 1 lb per week, then it would take 20 weeks or about 5 months to reach your goal.

Break the total number of weeks  into  shorter time periods, like 4 weeks. 

You will feel that you are making progress. In this case, your short-term goal would be to lose 4 lbs in 4 weeks.  Then you would continue to the next 4 week period until you reach the date you have set to achieve your overall goal. I choose very small weekly amounts of weight to lose, within a healthy range. Your doctor may tell you that you can safely lose a larger amount of weight per week. Set a goal of just a small amount of weight loss a week. It makes your weight loss easier to do and easier to keep up.

Look at your weight trends.

When you look at your weight gain or loss over a time, you will see that your weight goes up and down.

Weight Loss - Weight Trending Down

If your numbers go up and down in an overall upward pattern, you are trending up. If there is a general downward pattern, you are trending down. Look at your weight trends and you will see where you are really going. Don’t get stuck on daily or weekly fluctuations in your weight. If you’re trending down, you really are losing weight, even though your weight goes up  some of the time. If you look at your weight numbers this way, you’ll see your successes when you are trending down, and make changes to what you have been doing if you start trending up.

Quick and easy things you can do to get back on track

Review your journal

As you review your  journal entries for what you eat, and your exercise, you will see what has changed that derailed you from your goal. Reflect back on what changes you have made. Here are some of the areas you want to review:

  • Did you eat out more?
  • Are you eating more or less of certain food types?
  • Did you start to drink something different?
  • Are you just eating more?
  • Did you start skipping meals?
  • Have you stopped or done less of an exercise that you were doing before?
  • Did you stop writing down what you are doing?

You will be able to see what has really been happening, and what you can do to get back on track.

Substitute a piece of fruit for your snack

Instead of grabbing the cookies, candy, cakes and chips, have some fruit. I lapsed into the habit of walking into my mother’s house and raiding her stash of goodies. In addition, I increased the amount of crackers and dry cereal that I would eat as snacks while mindlessly doing other things. These behaviors are the exact opposite of the ones  that helped me jump-start my weight loss a few years ago.  When I started eating fresh fruit and cut the “junk food” to a very limited treat, my weight started going down where I had difficulties before. If snacking is something that you love to do, pay particular attention to what you are eating as snacks.

Try a new fruit or vegetable.

Each week you can add a different vegetable to your meals. Sometimes we get stuck in a pattern of one or two go-to vegetables. Spice up your meals by trying something new or that you haven’t had in a while. Fresh vegetables are ideal, and unprepared frozen vegetables are a good second choice.  Add them to your salad,  in a sauce or make them the star of your plate. Eat 2-4 servings of fruit instead of  drinking the juice.The fiber in whole fruit and vegetables  will not only help you feel satisfied, you’ll make positive change toward weight loss while supporting your heart’s health.

Take a walk

If you have fallen off track with your exercise, you can get moving for 10 minutes at a time. It’s easier to start with a small time block if you have to get yourself motivated to move. If walking is not your favorite exercise, choose something that you enjoy, and do it 😉

Sometimes we get stuck and feel lost. We can look at how we got there, and make healthy changes. No matter what happens to derail us, we can always start moving forward again.

What do you do when you get off track with your weight loss goals?

Let’s talk. Leave a comment below 🙂


All the Best,

PS: We can also talk on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Valerie B Bess is the author of Healthy Heart Start.

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