Well, join the club. 97% of people gain all the weight they lost (and more) through dieting back within 1-3 years. But why?
I considered this question recently. I have been relatively stable with my weight for a long time but recently gained a few pounds and I found myself back in those old familiar places – namely panic and worry. Then the negative body talk started “I am a weight loss coach, I need to set a good example,” “I’m getting too old to lose weight,” “those pants/shirt/dress looked better on me before,” “is my (insert any body part here) looking fatter?” I had the desire to run and hide from myself and the world (yes, 3 pounds really did cause all this drama). Then, I remembered the words that I tell my clients every day – what helps you lose weight is what keeps it off and, I realize that I had relapsed because I had gotten a little looser with my eating and with my habits and I did a quick behavior audit and then reminded myself to re-start the basic habits that helped me in the first place.
Here’s what I did first: STOPPED THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK and worry. I realized how many times a day I was hating on my body and criticizing myself. Negative self-talk causes stress and stress causes weight gain through the stress hormone itself and through overeating as a mechanism for dealing with stress. Then I looked closely at my eating habits and tightened up where I needed to.
Is this you?
Have you noticed that the weight has seemingly magically started coming back on? DON’T PANIC. Try these things first:
- Notice the negative self-talk and body criticism. You can’t control your mind because its job is to create thoughts. But, you can NOTICE how many times per day you are putting yourself down or worrying about your body.
- Weigh yourself every day (I get a lot of pushback on this from clients but weight is just a way to keep track of progress). Here’s how to deal with the drama of the scale.
- Write down everything you are eating
- Plan your meals ahead of time (this doesn’t have to be a big fancy plan, you can do it in 5 minutes)
- Commit 100% to eating only what is on your plan
- Plan ahead what you are going to eat and drink on vacation, at parties and in restaurants (it helps to review menus ahead of time)
- Slow down your eating by using the one bite at a time technique
- Only allow yourself to eat while sitting (this will eliminate grazing) and never eat in the car