Plenty of problems to be had with weight loss. Here are a few pitfalls you might have:
1. I’m not making my weight loss goals on the scale.
You have made a commitment and you need to be honest with yourself. If you are truly not meeting your goals on a consistent basis, think about what you’re doing wrong. This is simple math. Either you put the numbers in wrong at the beginning or you are failing to record calories/failing to work out. Make sure that you take responsibility for your mistakes. That being said, sometimes consuming excess carbs or sodium can cause you to retain water on the scale. Not enough to be terribly significant, but it can set you off your goal. This kind of weight gain should go away within a few days of your weigh in.
2. I don’t like the food I’m eating.
The beauty of calorie counting is that you can eat anything you’d like. If you don’t like the food you’re eating, eat something different. If your problem is that you don’t like vegetables or other healthy stuff, make like a kid and hide your veggies in something you do like, like whole wheat pasta with marinara or lowfat cottage cheese. Get creative.
3. I messed up. Now my diet is ruined.
To err is human. So you messed up for a day/week/month/year. You have the rest of your life to fix this problem and get yourself healthy. Dieting is hard and sometimes when we mess up we look at it as a sign that we can’t do it. Don’t believe that about yourself. Pick yourself up and start again.
4. It’s my birthday/Christmas/Thanksgiving/Independence Day/Easter/office party!
Let me give you my personal plan for this type of situation. I try to have a small meal at every meal other than “the feast”. I try to give myself at least 700 calories to work with. Don’t count calories here, just keep your brain with you. Make the healthiest choices possible. (eg: Veggie tray and fruit tray not brownie bites and nachos.) Don’t gorge yourself. If you are required to bring a dish, bring something healthy with you. Enjoy the company more than the food and eat slowly. That’s the only way to know when you’re full. Remind your friends that you’re dieting if you feel weird about being the most sensible soul at the party.
5. I want to drink alcohol.
Okay! Just remember, alcohol has calories like anything else. The calories are often higher related to alcohol content. Enjoy 1 to 2 beverages and COUNT THE CALORIES. Don’t overdo the alcohol or you’ll find yourself missing your workout the next day!
6. I have an exercise related injury. How should I change my diet?
First of all, if you have an injury, see a doctor. Ask if you can use the pool to do your exercise. The zero gravity environment often lends itself perfectly to this kind of situation. If not, just suck it up and stay off your feet. Don’t make the injury worse and do what you can. Eat your goal calories and get ready to pick it back up when you can.
7. I’m at a plateau. I have very little to lose and the weight won’t come off.
Boy do I know this beast inside and out! Plateaus are common, especially with the last 10-30 pounds of your weight loss. Make sure that you are lowering your calorie intake with your weight. As you get smaller, you need less calories. That still might not be enough. Try changing up your exercise routine. If you usually walk, try biking. If you usually lift weights, take a week off and alternate with some yoga.
Calorie staggering is another technique that involves tricking your metabolism by having some low-calorie days and other high calorie days instead of eating the same number of calories daily. This tool is something I would try at my own risk. It’s not necessarily the best thing to do to your body because it triggers your starvation response.
The final option for this pitfall is simple. Maybe this is the weight that’s right for you. Are you already in the healthy weight range? If you are still losing weight due to being unsatisfied with your looks but are completely healthy, you may be overdoing it. If you’ve tried everything and the pounds aren’t coming off, you may be at a good place for you. Accept yourself and move on.