Get Back on Track to Shed Pounds for Summer
by Katherine Bookings, MS, RD
Get Back on Track to Shed Pounds for Summer Let’s face it: even the most determined and motivated dieter can fall off the proverbial weight loss wagon. In fact, many people seeking to lose weight report having tried multiple times (and failed) before finding the right diet and fitness program for the long term.
So if you’ve found that instead of shedding pounds your weight has been steadily creeping up, here are 5 tips to help you get back on track toward your weight goal:
- Assess the damage. Do you have scale-its? You know, that nagging fear that comes when you notice your pants fitting more snugly (or not at all) and that keeps you from stepping on the scale to see your actual weight? What you don’t know may hurt you. So be brave and “measure” where you are today. Once you see the number, you can assess how far off you are from you actual weight goal. Knowing where you are today is the first step toward acknowledging and remedying the problem.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up. So often in life, we are our own worst enemy. Don’t let weight gain (or re-gain) bring you down. If you had planned to lose 20 pounds this summer, but found instead that you gained 5, you may be tempted to throw in the towel, but don’t! Use this temporary setback instead to start a food journal. This will help you identify where you may be going off track. Keeping a daily record of what you eat and how much you exercise is one of the best weapons in your weight loss arsenal. It will help keep you accountable… to yourself.
- Buddy Up. Speaking of accountability… start building a support network. Avoid those who overtly or covertly undermine your weight loss efforts (you know who they are!) and forge connections with friends or family members who genuinely support your healthy weight goals. Within this group, finding a “fitness friend” –or two — can go a long way toward keeping you on track. I know for me, it’s near impossible to wake up at 6am to go jogging alone. But if I make a commitment to a friend that I’ll meet her at 6am, I’ll be there no matter what. (It’s also a great way to catch up with your friends!!)
- Get Thee to a Grocery. One of the reasons why many people fail to reach their weight goal or re-gain lost weight is because they often eat out, eat on the go, or simply eat the wrong things at home. When it comes to long-term weight loss, being prepared is more than half the battle. Healthy eating starts at home, by preparing and serving healthy meals in moderate portions. Get some inspiration by looking at healthy, delicious recipes (check out www.appforhealth.com) and then go grocery shopping. Bring home only healthy foods and snacks and make sure they are readily available. Go through your pantry and fridge/freezer and toss all the junk food items and empty calorie treats.
- If you feel you are solidly “in a rut” seek professional help. If you have been unsuccessful in your weight loss efforts after trying just about everything or if your weight constantly yo-yos, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Overweight and obesity can have many causes: medical, psychological, genetic, or a combination of all three. If you cannot figure out on your own why you aren’t losing weight, meet with a registered dietitian or MD specializing in weight management. They can help you identify what’s keeping the weight on… and assist you in the path to success.
Katherine Brooking is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She is dedicated to helping people achieve better health and richer lives through sound nutrition and healthy lifestyles. She has been a contributor to top-tier national morning shows including the TODAY show, Live with Regis & Kelly, The Early Show on CBS, Good Morning America Health as well as dozens of local affiliate stations across the country. As a writer covering health and wellness topics, Katherine has contributed to SELF Magazine, Prevention, Cooking Light and Woman’s Day and other leading news publications including The Washington Post, Huffington Post and New York Daily News. Katherine is the co-author of The Real Skinny: 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions. For more information go to www.appforhealth.com.