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After a Holiday Weekend — Getting Your Diet Plan Back on Track

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 13 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -3 lbs.
Change overall:  -36.5 lbs.

Week 14 Weigh In:

Change this week:  +1 lbs.
Change overall:  -35.5 lbs.

I had the best intentions going into the Memorial Day weekend, but never quite felt like I was hitting my stride and keeping strong.  A cookie here… some chips there… too much cheese a little later.  I just knew I’d record a gain at my weigh-in.  And I did.

I looked back through my food journal and saw some holes where I’d decided at the end of the day that I didn’t need to bother writing every little thing down.  And I thought back over some recent nights out where I’d had a half a basket of tortilla chips instead of carefully counting out 12 of them or had a bag of pretzels to nosh on instead of some cherry tomatoes or baby carrots.  Nothing too horrendously out of control by itself, but when added together…

So I decided to accept the fact that I’d slipped a bit, look forward instead of back, and just focus on the basics.   

Which is more difficult than it seems like it should be!

Honestly, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since I started on my weight loss plan was to just keep going yesterday morning like nothing had changed.  All I wanted to do after I weighed myself was climb back into bed, sleep for another hour, and have an Egg McMuffin and hashbrowns for breakfast.

But instead, I went to the gym.  I had some hard-boiled eggs and strawberries for breakfast and a turkey sub from Subway for lunch.  I had healthy snacks throughout the day and cooked a low-fat dinner at home with a friend.  And already that one pound gain feels like it was days ago and was undoubtedly just a normal little blip in the graph of my weight loss.

If you’ve faltered a bit, here are a few things that are helping me get back on track:

  • Recording everything. It’s so easy to let things slip if you’re not holding yourself accountable. Even if it’s just an extra couple of tortilla chips or a slice of cheese – write it down and keep track. I’ve also found that writing about my progress here is helping me tremendously. The process of committing my journey to paper or the keyboard helps me see – and put into perspective — the challenges that may have just slipped by if I didn’t have to think about them each Wednesday. I was still feeling a little frustrated about my gain when I started writing this, but, now I’m all fired up to get back on track and stay there!
  • Focusing on drinking water. I’m not a huge fan of drinking water myself, favoring diet cola – which I drink even for breakfast! Here’s what I do: Allow myself a 20oz bottle of soda in the morning. Then I refill the bottle with water. Before I drink another soda, I have to refill and drink that bottle of water at least four times for 80oz of water. Regardless of how much water I end up drinking, I usually don’t get around to drinking any more soda!
  • Celebrating the progress I’ve made. While I certainly don’t want a one-pound gain to grow to five pounds or ten or more, I also don’t want to dwell on it too much. I may have gained a pound, but, I’ve still lost 35.5!
  • Exercise. Even if you can’t make it to the gym for an hour, there are plenty of ways to add exercise to your day. It will burn calories and make you feel better! You’ve probably heard all the tricks before… but everyone repeats them because they work!
    • Get off the bus a block early and add a little walk to your commute. If you drive to work, park far away instead of in the closest possible spot.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Use your lunch break to take a little walk.
    • If you go to the mall or grocery store, walk a few laps before you start your shopping.
  • Keep a well-stocked fridge and pantry. I’m working on my list of personal staples that I need to get me through the challenging times. Here’s what I’ve got so far for my next shopping trip:
    • Cherry tomatoes. I love to keep a pint on my desk and snack on them through the afternoon. Other veggie faves for snacking are sliced red and green bell peppers, baby carrots with some hummus for dipping and sliced cucumbers with a little salt.
    • Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Wedges. A great low-fat treat for just 35 calories. One wedge easily covers two Kavli Crispy Garlic crispbreads (less than 20 calories each).
    • Cool Whip Free. Let the Cool Whip defrost in your refrigerator and then mix in two crumbled 100-calorie packs of Oreo Thins. Re-freeze. You’ll have a tub of “ice cream” to last you awhile and make you forget how much you’ve been craving a high-calorie treat! Speaking of 100-calorie packs… my all-time favorites for a snack that makes me feel like I’m not even thinking about dieting are the 100-calorie packs of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.
    • Sauerkraut for low-fat turkey Reubens… I just take one slice of Jewish Rye, pile on some sauerkraut and a few slices of turkey breast from the deli and a top it with a slice of Jarlesberg Light cheese… then put it in the toaster until the cheese melts.
    • Crystal Light On the Go packets to help make drinking all that water a little easier!

As with all advice, some of this will work for you and some won’t.  The key is to find what will help you personally stay focused.  If writing is your thing, consider a blog or even just a private journal.  If you need more interaction, maybe joining a program and attending meetings will help.  If not, do you have a friend or family member facing the same challenges?  Arrange to meet once a week for a walk or coffee date to talk about how your week is going and support each other.  Taking the time now to set up a support system for yourself will pay off over and over again as you move forward toward your goals.


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