How to Bounce Back After Gaining a Few Pounds
A Set Back Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed… It Just Means It’s Time To Learn Something New.
Your health journey is just like anything else; there are ups and downs. You probably won’t see a perfect decline in your weight with no fluctuation, and that’s okay! In fact, that’s normal and expected.
Everyone’s body is different, and life can hit you unexpectedly. If you gain a few pounds, it’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you have the opportunity to learn something new about yourself. You’re constantly on a journey of self-discovery, and life is always changing, so your body and what it needs is changing too.
Right now, specifically, it makes complete sense to have gained some weight. Whether it’s the holidays, stress from COVID-19, or a personal loss, there are SO many factors that can affect your weight. All bodies are different, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else! Plus, the world is stressful right now, so your body deserves a little grace.
That said, bouncing back and losing those pounds again IS possible. Getting back on track may feel daunting, but you can do it. Everyone on a weight-loss or health journey has to do this at some point. Falling off track and climbing back on is part of life.
It’s important to remember that you’re making progress, even if it’s not the rate you initially wanted. You can take this moment to appreciate your body and all it’s done for you and the growth you’ve experienced differently.
Remember, Successful People Don’t Succeed Well; They Fail Well.
So, if you’re ready to get back on track but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place.
Here are 6 steps to bouncing back after gaining a few pounds (without killing yourself in the process!)
Step One – Reframe Your Mindset & Be Kind to Yourself
As I said earlier, you have not failed. This is not the end of your journey.
Before anything else, the most important thing to do when bouncing back is to reframe your mindset. You deserve your own kindness. Your body deserves grace. So, try forgiving yourself. If you feel guilty for overeating this holiday season, or not exercising during quarantine, or just for neglecting healthy eating, forgive yourself.
We go through seasons in life, and some seasons may not include the healthiest choices. Forgive the you that lived in that season and then allow it to end.
After you’ve done that, take a moment to remember how far you’ve come. It’s easy to focus on the negative and get discouraged, but reframing your mindset is vital to getting back on track. If you keep a food journal, break it out, and write a list of all the incredible things you’ve achieved since starting this journey. Focus on the positive and permanently remove all that self-deprecating thoughts. You wouldn’t tell your best friend “You’ll never lose the weight, and you don’t deserve to feel confident in your skin,” so why would you say that to yourself?
The Key to Bouncing Back After Gaining Weight is Having the Right Mindset.
Thinking negatively can lead to making unhealthy choices, like giving up on eating healthy completely or restricting your calories too much. Neither of those are healthy ways to reach your goals, so it’s time to toss the pessimistic thoughts in the trash and get in the right frame of mind to lose those extra pounds again.
Forgive yourself, stop the cynical thoughts, lose the guilt, and reset your mind. Quit beating yourself up for having ice cream in bed last night. Take a deep breath, remember that gaining five or ten pounds isn’t the end of the world, and get ready to move forward.
Be patient. Stable, healthy weight loss takes time. You’re in this for the long haul.
Step Two – Start Now With Small Goals
Stop putting it off because you’re nervous, or it feels daunting. You can take steps for change right now, today. Tomorrow will never come if you’re always waiting for it.
You don’t have to start with hour-long workouts and healthy gourmet meals. In fact, it’s best to start small. Don’t even expect to do what you were doing two months ago. Just do what you can do today. Maybe that’s not a two-hour intense workout but a fifteen-minute walk with your dog. Moving your body and exercising is worth doing, even if you can’t be an olympian. Just get your heart rate up with activities like walking, biking, yoga, or lifting some weights.
G.K. Chesterton said it best:
If a Thing is Worth Doing, it is Worth Doing Badly.
Set yourself small goals you can reach. If you still have a goal from before gaining a few pounds, consider making a new one. Don’t be angry with yourself for failing an initial goal; recognize that life sometimes forces us to alter goals to fit new situations.
Maybe instead of trying to lose 80 pounds by summer, set a smaller goal to lose five pounds by next month. Or to run a mile in 10 minutes or get 8,000 steps a day. Or, your goal could simply be to make healthy meals and get enough vegetables in your diet this week.
And when making goals related to your diet, try not to cut anything out completely. Restricting your body can cause cravings. Don’t entirely deprive yourself of sweets. Instead, try making healthier chocolate treats to enjoy a few times a week.
Step Three – Plan Your Meals
It can make all the difference in the world to plan your meals ahead of time. While you’re in a healthy mindset, plan what you’re going to eat for the next week or two. That way, if Friday comes around and you’re having a bad day, you don’t have to try and muster up the courage to make a healthy meal. Past-You already did that.
Meal prepping and planning can help prevent you from falling into old habits or settling for take-out. You can plan snacks or make meals for the whole week, so you don’t mindlessly snack on chips. If your meals are filling, satisfying, and full of the needed nutrients, you won’t do as much snacking. Veggies make GREAT snacks for when you’re feeling munchy, and they’re fulfilling.
It’s Not a Short Term Diet. It’s a Long Term Lifestyle Change.
Choose the food you eat carefully and thoughtfully. Processed foods, excessive salt, simple carbs, etc., won’t help your weight-loss goals. Instead, embrace fruits and vegetables. These foods are lower in calories but are filling, packed with nutrients, and are often anti-inflammatory.
Also, be aware of your carbs! You don’t need to cut them out completely; just be sure you’re getting the right kind of carbohydrates.
If you need help with meal planning, check out our Meal Prep Video Training course and 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge to make meal planning and clean eating simpler and more manageable. Also, remember that your food journal will be beneficial while meal planning!
Step Four – Look at the Rest of Your Life
Losing weight and living a healthy life isn’t just about your food and exercise. There are SO many other aspects to consider, such as water intake, sleep, and mental health. All of these can affect your eating habits and health and vise versa.
First, be sure you’re drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is SO important for your health and weight loss. The average adult needs roughly 100-150 ounces (or ¾ a gallon-1 gallon), so pay attention to how much water you’re getting.
Second, remember to sleep. I know it can be challenging to get enough sleep and even harder to get decent sleep, but it is essential. Many people don’t realize how important sufficient sleep is to their health and weight. However, much research shows lack of decent sleep is linked to weight gain and hormone changes.
So, pay attention to your sleeping habits and try to improve them. Turn off the TV earlier and remove all distractions from your bed.
A Healthy Lifestyle isn’t Only Changing Your Body; it’s Changing Your Mind, Your Attitude, and Your Mood.
Finally, focus on your mental health as well. Mental well-being is SO important to physical well-being, and the two have tremendous effects on each other. If you’ve been feeling more stressed than usual or anxiety levels are high, that could be a reason for your recent weight gain. And dealing with the causes of stress, or treating your anxiety, can be an essential step in losing the weight again. Practice some self-love and see how it helps your weight-loss journey!
Step Five – Check Your Hormones
It is possible that your hormones are not balanced, which can cause weight gain and mess with your sleep. You may want to get them checked, so you’re better prepared to balance them, or just to understand why losing weight is more difficult than usual.
I suggest talking to your doctor if you think there could be a hormone imbalance in play. If you’re approaching or in menopause age, you’re likely dealing with a hormone change. Weight gain often happens during menopause, and your doctor can help with that. Talking to a physician is essential, but you can also manage menopause with nutrition.
Step Six – Reach Out for Help
There’s no rule that says you have to do this alone! Sometimes having a community, some help, and encouragement makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Maybe you get help from the pros, like a personal trainer, therapist, or nutritionist. Or perhaps you form an accountability group with your family and/or friends. Depending on your situation, it may help to sit down with a professional to unpack why you’ve gained weight and what you can do to help (such as talking to a doctor about hormones or a therapist about mental health.)
If you don’t know where to start looking for a clean eating or healthy living community, consider starting with the Clean Food Crush Challenge. Our crushers are AMAZING and so welcoming. Plus, the team we have to help, encourage, and support you can be the missing piece to getting back on track.
I hope none of those steps overwhelmed you and instead made it clear that you CAN bounce back. This is all part of the journey and the process of living a healthy life. Remember to recognize your own beauty and ability and pay attention to the positive. This will help you be healthy, make good choices, and not give up on your goals altogether.
At the end of the day, remember that your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy. So, if that means you need to lose those few pounds you gained over the holidays or during the crazy year that was 2020, then do that! It is possible, and I believe in you.
There is No Statute of Limitations for Starting Over.
Age doesn’t Matter.
There is No Perfect Day of the Week.
Timing Will Never be Ideal.
So, Start Now.
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