The path of weight loss and maintenance isn’t usually a straight line. Detours and bumps in the road are normal, natural, and expected. What matters is what you do next. The key to sticking with a successful weight loss is resilience: Having the tools and the know-how to regroup and keep going after a setback. Here’s help with some typical situations.
• Have regained some weight:
Plan ahead for this possibility. You might want to decide, with the guidance of your coach, what your “take action” weight will be and the steps you’ll take if you hit that number on your scale. Maybe a Tune-up–returning to Phase 1 of the Protocol–will do the trick. Above all, don’t be hard on yourself; weight gain is ordinary and common—but not permanent.
• Are returning to old eating patterns:
This might happen for a few reasons. For instance, you haven’t been using your IP app or Daily Planner & Journal every day. Or you’re less careful about checking labels and adhering to the protocol. Maybe you’ve ventured too often into the Poor Value food category.
• Find your motivation has stalled:
Remind yourself of what you’ve gained as you’ve lost: more stamina, less stress, greater confidence, better sleep, etc. If you need a refresher, revisit your goals. Even if you updated them, it’s possible one or two weren’t quite right, or no longer resonate for you, so revise as necessary. Remember, to successfully maintain weight loss, choose intrinsic, or personally meaningful, goals that aren’t based on physical appearance.
5 ways to tackle any setback
1. Keep things in perspective.
Stick to the issue and how you will address it; don’t catastrophize. Eating a candy bar from the Poor Value food category doesn’t mean you will do badly at your job, lose friends, or cause any other life disaster. It just means you ate a candy bar. Acknowledge it, plan for the future, and move on.
2. Limit the slip.
You might feel like throwing in the towel when you’ve had a setback. But consider: If you break one egg, do you break the rest of the dozen as well? Shift into a positive frame of mind that helps you reverse course right away.
3. Learn from it.
Think about what led to the setback and how you can prevent that sequence going forward. Maybe it’s not grocery shopping when you’re hungry or setting a timer to turn off the TV and return to a good sleep schedule. Your coach can share insights you might not think of.
4. Be the boss.
Never forget that you are in control of what you eat, how you move, and the healthy choices you make. Don’t let food sneak back into the driver’s seat.
5. Reach out for support.
Turn to your coach, of course! And ask the family and friends who have cheered you on your journey to keep it up!