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Getting Back on the Weight Loss Wagon

I have followed the WW/Weight Watchers program for years, from "exchanges" up to the most recent Wellness Wins program.


Just Stalled, or Backsliding?

First, you need to do a brief assessment of what’s going on with your weight loss plans. Have you merely stopped making progress, or have you started regaining what you initially lost? Or, perish the thought, do you weigh more now than when you started your new program or plan?

Trust me, you’re not alone. The whole world has gone crazy, and trying to take off some pounds with everything going on may seem nearly impossible. So before with go any further, you need to let yourself off the hook. Give yourself a pass. Stop wallowing in guilt, and decide to do something about it instead.

Accepting reality is the first step. Just by reading this article, you’re ahead of the pack. Too many people have just given up under the circumstances. But not you. You’re going to acknowledge where you are and decide to do something. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result. So it’s time for something new.

Try Something New

I’m going to suggest several “re-start” strategies. Perhaps you’ll find one you like, or perhaps something will trigger an idea of your own. Don’t feel limited by what I mention here. Use it as your jumping-off point to redirect your energies.

Intermittent Fasting

You’ve probably heard of this approach to weight loss. I’m not going to get into great detail here, other than you suggest to you that it’s a great way to re-energize your weight loss efforts.

Basically, intermittent fasting is just alternating between fasting (limiting your consumption to water, black coffee, tea, or low-calorie beverages) and eating “normally.” Notice I said normally. I didn’t say to pig out, which might be worse than doing nothing at all.

There are several different versions, but the one I like is the 16:8 fast. You fast for 16 hours and eat normally for eight. Depending on how you structure your day, it’s really just skipping breakfast. You can still have all the coffee or tea you want. Just don’t eat anything “solid” until 16 hours is over.

My preference is to eat between noon and 8 PM. That allows me to eat a full lunch and dinner, and even snack a little bit in the evening, as long as I stop by 8 PM. Then I sleep through most of the fast. I can’t guarantee results for everyone, but I took off 1 ½ pounds during the first week of trying this. Not bad.

Switch It Up

Have you been eating the same foods and recipes over and over? Spaghetti on Monday, Mac and Cheese on Tuesday, and so forth? And the same snacks, e.g., potato chips, peanuts, crackers, Cheetos, ice cream, and on and on? You’re in a rut. You’re not even thinking about the food you put in your mouth anymore.

If you want to restart your weight loss, you’re going to need to start thinking about the food you eat again. Google some new recipes, perhaps things like jambalaya or teriyaki turkey. Get creative. And don’t stop with just recipes. Revamp your entire snacking routine. Try things like frozen grapes instead of ice cream, or carrots sticks with salsa instead of potato chips and dip. You get the idea.

You need to bring eating up to the conscious level again. It’s like you’re been eating on autopilot. Just like driving home from work and not remembering how you got home. The routine has made you oblivious to how much you’re eating, which is not good for weight loss. So shake it up. And obviously, try for some healthier versions while you’re at it.


Eliminate "Red Light" Foods

I learned something about myself a long time again. There are certain foods I just can’t be around without overeating them. I call them my “red light” foods because a red light should appear and make me stop before I get started. For example, we all know a person who bakes a pan of brownies, eats the entire thing, and then bakes another pan and takes just one to cover their tracks. Trust me, it happens.

The absolute best way to avoid this is to simply not have the “red light” food readily available. If ice cream is your nemesis, then don’t have any in the freezer. If you absolutely must have some ice cream, go out and buy one ice cream cone, and eat it mindfully. The same goes for brownies, chips, or anything else you can’t limit yourself around.

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If you have a spouse or children that love these snacks, you’ll need to negotiate with them. Would they rather have their favorite snacks, or a healthy you? Okay, maybe don’t put it that way. Just cut down on how much you keep on hand, and maybe even write names on the snacks so you feel less tempted.

Move More

Yes, weight loss isn’t just about food. It’s also about getting the right amount of activity. Notice that I said “activity” and not “exercise.” Exercise sounds like work, but dancing sounds like fun. And it doesn’t have to be a “formal” thing. You might just turn on some music that you enjoy, and move along with the beat. That’s all. Just move. Then do it again, do it longer, and do it with greater intensity. If you get lost in the music, 20 minutes will just fly by.

Other things count as activity. You might consider:

  • Gardening or just trimming plants in your yard
  • Walking to the local store rather than taking your car
  • Cutting flowers and making a bouquet
  • Walking up the stairs and back down multiple times
  • Bowling, darts, miniature golf, or other recreational sports

Take a Pause

What I’m suggesting here is to try just maintaining for a while, but not letting it all go wild. The idea is to take your foot off the gas and coast for a while, not to apply to the brakes. Aim to maintain, but not regain. That’s better than giving up, and could help you regain your motivation after a little time off.

What Else?

Do you have any great tips that you’d like to share? Please post them in the comments below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Carolyn Fields


Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on August 03, 2020:

You are welcome, Pamela!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 03, 2020:

This is a good article about weight loss. I don't have a big appetite but I am physically incapable of doing much exercise, so I have just stayed the same for a while. I would like to lose 10 pounds. Maybe fasting would be the answer for me. My daughter-in-law fasts for the bulk of the day and she looks great. Thanks for great suggestions, Carolyn.

Carolyn Fields (author) from South Dakota, USA on August 03, 2020:

Thanks, Liz. Yes, it seems that many people have had weight gain issues due to the lockdown.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 03, 2020:

This is a very helpful article. As lockdown began, I was sent an amusing before and after lockdown video. In it, a fit young man, just out of the gym was dancing. Skip to post lockdown and he was unrecognisable due to excessive weight gain. It was humorous, but made a good point. Not long after that, UK supermarkets ran low on baking ingredients. Now, many comment on their lockdown weight gain. This is a timely article.

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