Fallen off the wagon with your weight loss plans? It happens to all of us sometimes. Often after a brief period of enthusiasm for exercise and healthy eating, we lose some of the momentum and fall into a bit of a slump. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up forever. It might seem daunting to get started again, but getting back in control is easier than it seems! You just need to take small steps and try to keep a positive outlook. Remember that you have a choice: you have the power to forgive yourself for slipping up and to make a decision to move on and get back to where you want to be.
If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of getting back into your weight loss routine, try taking a few of these small steps each day until you get your momentum back. Then it’s full speed ahead towards your goals…
Find a new recipe. Choose a new low-fat dish to prepare to renew your enthusiasm for healthy eating. Reminding yourself that healthy food can be delicious is a great way to get back on track to eating well.
Track your food. Writing down what you eat each day will show you clearly what patterns you have fallen into and where you should try to improve.
Have a healthy breakfast. Start the day out right with a low-calorie, nutritious breakfast – it will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Set new goals. This is a good time to reassess what you want to achieve and create a new plan with those goals in mind. Write your goals down and keep them somewhere that you can keep referring to and track your process.
Create rewards. Think up some small rewards you can use to keep yourself motivated. It might be something like treating yourself to a massage after you lose the first two kilos- think of something that will make you feel good and that doesn’t involve chocolate!
Go to the supermarket. Stock up on fresh, healthy foods that will keep your diet plan tasty and interesting. When you get home, throw away any unhealthy foods in the cupboards so you won’t be tempted.
Listen to an inspirational song. It might sound corny, but listening to music can be a great way to lift your spirits and keep you motivated. Make a playlist of songs that always get you moving and listen to it whenever you need to.
Share your goals. Tell people what you want to achieve, so you’ll be more accountable. Recruit a friend as your support buddy or even share your goals with an online community.
Exercise for 10 minutes. If it’s too daunting to get back to the gym straight away, start small. Jump rope, go for a walk, climb the stairs or do some sit-ups just for 10 minutes. Small amounts add up and will help to ease you back in to exercise.
Lift some weights. To see results fast, get back into your strength training. Your body has a wonderful thing called muscle memory, which means any muscle you developed earlier will tone up quickly, because the muscle ‘remembers’ the movements and knows how to respond to them.
Eat more fruit and veg. Make an effort to get in your five serves of fruit and vegetables each day. Even if that’s the only thing you change to start with, it will get you feeling healthier quickly.
Focus on portions. Start to pay more attention to how much you are eating and try to keep your portion sizes down. If you really want that cake, just serve up a small slice.
Be honest with yourself. Think about when and why you got off track with your weight loss, and see any patterns emerge. Maybe there’s a particular trigger – and identifying it might help you to come up with some solutions. Then make a promise to yourself to do your best to stick to your plans this time. Remember that you have control – it can be empowering to realize that sticking to your diet is about making smart decisions every day.