This post was created as part of a relationship in which I was sponsored by Weight Watchers and given a free three month subscription to try their new Personal Coaching product and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own. #WeightWatchers #WWsponsored
News flash: It’s not easy to lose weight.
Did that comes as a surprise to any of you? Probably not. Losing weight, changing life-long eating habits, sticking with an exercise routine…it’s “easy” when you’re driven by the excitement of something new, the motivation of a new goal. But it’s also easy to fall back in to old routines and slip a little.
Despite the set-backs of the winter (I felt like I could never stay on a normal schedule thanks to 9 snow days where the kids were home and I was scrambling to figure out how to work, shop, exercise, and everything else with everyone under foot….) I have actually made great progress with my weight loss. My pants are feeling loose, my shirts are looking more flattering, and I see a defined waist again when I look in the mirror. I have so much to be proud of and excited about, and yet the past few weeks, I felt like I was “slipping.” While I wasn’t gaining weight, I wasn’t losing it as quickly, either. I was sticking to my new-found better eating habits, but I wasn’t tracking everything quite as closely as before.
So I reached out to my Weight Watchers personal coach, who always just seems to “get” me. I asked for her advice on how to get back on track with my weight loss goals because I felt like I’d reached a plateau. I do believe she could read through the lines of my plea and knew exactly what was going on, because her advice was spot on.
Five Tips to Help You get Back on Track With Your Weight Loss Goals
Her advice to me was golden, and I gathered a few more tips from the Weight Watchers website. I’m excited to share the tips with all of you, since I know that I’m not the only one who has hit a stumbling block a few months (or weeks) into a weight loss program. Whether you are following Weight Watchers (which I totally recommend, by the way) or going it on your own, these tips can help get you over that “hump” of slowed progress.
Don’t be discouraged
While I was feeling discouraged last week because of my apparent lack of progress, my coach reminded me that what I was seeing as a set-back was probably just a slow down. She gave me tips to speed things up again, and reminded me that I had accomplished a lot so far.
My coach shared this information from Weight Watchers eTools: “Why Do Plateaus Occur? There are several reasons why a plateau happens; Loosened compliance with eating and exercise plans. Physiological changes that occur during weight. A smaller body uses fewer calories because there’s less weight to move around. The loss of lean muscle tissue that commonly accompanies weight loss lowers metabolism, which means fewer calories are burned daily.”
My natural response to discouragement is to want to give up. “Giving up” in this sense meant that I stopped tracking everything that I ate and snuck in a few snacks (read: Girl Scout cookies from my niece) that I had all but given up during the first few months of the year. The trick is to fight those natural urges to give up when you’re facing a set back and continue to move forward.
I love this quote that my coach shared with me:
You’re not alone
Research shows that people who have a support system will lose more weight than people who try to lose it alone. A support system could be a Personal Coach like I have through Weight Watchers, a buddy who is also trying to lose weight, a mentor, a trainer at the gym, a neighbor, etc. If you don’t have a support system already, find one. Ask a friend, a spouse, anyone who can have your back and encourage and remind you in a caring way. It makes all the difference.
When you feel like you’re “slipping” or that you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss, the best change you can make is to up your exercise. Plateaus are a natural part of weight loss, and something everyone goes through. Exercise is key to jumpstarting a changing body.
Whether you need to head back to the gym more often or take regular walks now that the weather is turning warmer (finally!), get up and get moving. As silly as it sounds, I’ve been consciously jogging in place while I wait for my lunch to heat up in the microwave, or taking walks with my kids in the afternoon. Every step counts.
Determine your obstacles…and then tackle them
In the very beginning of my weight loss journey, I told my coach that one of my biggest struggles is snacking, especially when I’m sitting for long hours at a time in front of a computer (which is basically all week long, of course). My biggest struggle over the last month or so has been stress, and when I’m stressed, I eat.
“Never allow yourself to eat when your mind is otherwise occupied. When you do feel yourself getting hungry, pull yourself away from the computer and focus on the food. Give yourself a five minute break. Mindless eating can do terrible things to a person. I drink water constantly to make sure that what I’m feeling is true hunger and not dehydration.”
This week, I’ve increased the amount of water I’m drinking, and I’ve started adding lemon to my water, which not only tastes more satisfying to me, but has added benefits as well. Did you know that water with lemon is a natural energy booster and that the lemon actually helps improve digestion? I could go on…but I really do feel like adding a bit of lemon to my water has helped curb my day-time snacking urges.
Recommit and move forward
Let your challenges motivate you to recommit to your weight loss plan. Don’t let discouragement make you stop your progress. Use it as a new, fresh start.
“Because pounds shed in the first few weeks of weight loss tend to be made up of about half water, people are often fooled into thinking they are reaching a plateau when, in fact, they’re really just approaching a normal (read: slower) rate of weight loss. Again, it goes back to the ‘is this really a plateau or am I just frustrated that I’m not where I want to be?’ I’ve noticed that when members that I’m working with are not losing, if they begin to track again – and I mean strict tracking, they begin to see the weight come off again.”
She also said (and this really struck a chord with me): “90% of plateaus are due to us loosening up a bit on the plan. If you have either gotten bored with/comfortable with/unmotivated – forgive yourself. Reaffirm your commitment to your weight-loss plan, and move forward. Try a new recipe, go back to weighing and measuring your ‘eyeballed’ portions, or add a daily walk. By mixing up your routine, eating and exercise will be fresh and enjoyable again.”
Now ask yourself – what obstacles are creeping back into your life to keep you from your goals? If you feel like Weight Watchers can help you move to the next level with your weight loss, I encourage you to check out their program. I love that I can get all the support and resources I need from my smartphone and my computer. It’s perfect for me, and I bet it will be perfect for you, too.
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