Weight loss pitfalls, boy have I got a few.
You know the things – you’re coasting along quite well, making good choices, staying within your limits, aiming for a weight loss this week…and then *boom* you fall down a massive hole that opened up beneath your feet. It could be that blind spot after weigh-in, or a meal in a restaurant, or meeting a friend for coffee. Maybe you see it coming or maybe you don’t, but it has the power to sink your efforts for the day, the week or even longer.
For me, the main pitfall is those two days at the end of the week. Those two days at the end of every week. That’s a pretty big and pretty regular weight loss pitfall.
I’d been kidding myself on that my weekends weren’t that bad
I thought that I was “good” enough during the week to balance it all out. But after yet another gain on the scales last week I had to give myself a talking to, and realise that I can’t blame all the weight gain on the fact I’m up the duff. My weekends have got out of control, and if I don’t reign them in I’m going to finish this pregnancy with a weight gain just as big as that in my previous pregnancies.
Being honest with yourself is vital when you’re trying to lose weight.
How many times have you heard someone say “I’ve stuck to my diet all week, I don’t understand why I’ve gained?!” Maybe you’ve said it yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a group session where at least one person hasn’t said that. But deep down they (and everyone else) know that probably isn’t the whole truth.
Weight loss is not a dark art.
Broken down it is simply taking in less calories than you burn. Do that enough – create a big enough calorie deficit – and the weight will come off. Obviously the rate changes from person to person and at different stages of your journey. But at its basic level, it’s a really simple balance of energy in versus energy out.
And weight loss pitfalls are nothing if not a whole load of energy in. I had to give myself a good shake. Weekends happen every week, after all!
I needed to be realistic about it though
There are things I don’t want to go without or simply can’t avoid – we have a big family dinner on a Sunday evening, we have dessert after Saturday dinner, we enjoy a treat together when watching a family film. Those are things that make me happy, they are things my family enjoy, and I know if I deprive myself of them totally I will end up triggering a binge further down the line. I need to make my diet work for my life, not the other way about.
So this week I tried the approach of pooling together my weekly allowance for extras (Syns, if you’re a Slimming World member) to cushion my weekend. I typically don’t use many Syns during the week, and so I gave myself a limit of 80 to spread over the weekend. It gave some structure to my food choices but I still enjoyed things like a caramel macchiato, plain popcorn, a chocolate mousse, apple pie with ice cream and a decent amount of dark chocolate.
I came out of the weekend feeling good and optimistic for my weigh-in this week, and my efforts were reflected by my results on the scale. I maintained my weight, and given that I’m 26 weeks pregnant, that for me is a good result.
I don’t doubt that weight loss pitfalls are a topic I will return to again and again.
Food is such a big part of good times, bad times, and regular every day times that there are always challenges to negotiate when trying to lose weight. But if we dieters can learn to tackle them one at a time, they are much less likely to derail us.