Losing weight is not easy. It requires dedication, discipline, and patience. But sometimes, even when you do everything right, you may face some challenges that can slow down your progress or make you feel like giving up. These challenges can be anything from weight-loss plateaus, lack of motivation, stress, emotional eating, injuries, illnesses, or life events that disrupt your routine.
But don’t worry, you are not alone. Every single person who has ever tried to lose weight has encountered these obstacles at some point. The key is to learn how to overcome them and get back on track. In this blog post, we will share some tips and strategies to help you handle setbacks and obstacles during your weight loss journey.
Tip 1: Avoid food or motivation triggers
One of the most common reasons why people fall off the wagon is because they encounter triggers that make them crave unhealthy food or lose their motivation to exercise. These triggers can be external, such as seeing or smelling tempting food, or internal, such as feeling bored, stressed, sad, or angry. To avoid these triggers, you need to identify them and take steps to work through them or negate them. For example, you can:
Keep junk food out of your house or office
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time
Carry healthy snacks with you when you go out
Avoid places or situations that tempt you to overeat or skip your workout
Find healthy ways to cope with your emotions, such as talking to a friend, journaling, meditating, or doing something you enjoy
Remind yourself of your goals and why you started your weight loss journey
Tip 2: Recommit to your goals
Sometimes, you may lose sight of your goals and forget why you wanted to lose weight in the first place. This can happen when you face a plateau, a setback, or a distraction that makes you lose your focus. To regain your motivation, you need to recommit to your goals and remind yourself of the benefits of losing weight. For example, you can:
Review your goals and make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)
Write down your goals and post them somewhere you can see them every day
Visualize yourself achieving your goals and how you will feel when you do
Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and reward yourself with something non-food related
Join a support group or find a buddy who shares your goals and can keep you accountable
Tip 3: Rely on support from a professional
Sometimes, you may need more than just your own willpower and determination to overcome the obstacles in your weight loss journey. You may need the guidance and advice of a professional who can help you with your diet, exercise, and mental health. For example, you can:
Consult a registered dietitian who can create a personalized meal plan for you based on your needs, preferences, and goals.
Hire a personal trainer who can design a customized workout program for you based on your fitness level, abilities, and goals.
Seek a therapist or a counselor who can help you deal with any emotional or psychological issues that may be affecting your weight loss, such as stress, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
Tip 4: Reassess your goals and make necessary adjustments
Sometimes, you may face a plateau or a slowdown in your weight loss because your body has adapted to your current diet and exercise routine. This is normal and expected, but it can be frustrating and demoralizing. To break through the plateau, you need to reassess your goals and make necessary adjustments to your diet and exercise routine. For example, you can:
Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories, unless this puts you in a range that’s too low for good health.
Gradually increase your daily exercise time by 15 to 30 minutes.
If possible, also increase the intensity of your exercise by adding more resistance, speed, or incline.
Vary your exercise routine by trying different types of activities, such as swimming, cycling, or dancing.
Incorporate strength training into your routine at least twice a week to build muscle and boost your metabolism.
Tip 5: Practice self-compassion and avoid dwelling on past mistakes
One of the most important things to remember when you face setbacks and obstacles in your weight loss journey is to be kind to yourself and avoid dwelling on past mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect. The key is to learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t let one bad day or one bad choice ruin your entire progress. Instead, focus on the positive and what you can do better next time. For example, you can:
Forgive yourself and accept that you are human and imperfect.
Avoid negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations.
Recognize your strengths and achievements and appreciate your efforts.
Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on your own journey.
Don’t let a setback become a relapse and get back on track as soon as possible.