29 November 2016Getting back on track - when it comes to losing weight

The holiday season is such a unique time of year. A time filled with connecting with friends and family, holiday parties, travel and an overall increase in competing demands for our time and energy. Throw in all the tasty food and drinks that make a special appearance and this can be a tricky time to navigate the course of weight management and healthy living. One of the most important strategies to maintaining a healthy weight is the ability to bounce back, otherwise known as getting back on track or resiliency. Studies show that individuals who are able to get back on track faster, gain less weight than their counterparts. Here are four important points to remember as you move through this holiday season.

1. First and foremost don’t sweat the small stuff. Beating yourself up over minor diversions in your eating plan or skipping a workout or two is not helpful. If you overindulge, try being kind and supportive to yourself. What would you tell a good friend if she had fallen off her diet and exercise plan? Chances are you’d supportively offer suggestions and encourage her not to dwell on the past. Try being a friend to yourself.

2. Figure out the why. After you have taken a few deep breaths and refrained from feeling guilty about falling off track, look into the why. Replaying the events and circumstances that led up to falling off track can be helpful in preventing the same scenario from happening again. Some people find it useful to map out the details and events that led up to the overindulgence. You’d be surprised by the subtle patterns you recognize by reviewing your notes (from a neutral perspective, of course). Knowledge is power, and the more you are aware of your patterns and your pitfalls, the better you can plan and prepare for success in the future.

3. Go back and track. Many clients tell me they are embarrassed and uncomfortable tracking their food intake on days when they have fallen off track. They imagine their calorie budgets have been completely blown, with no chance of recovering. This type of overgeneralizing blocks your ability to think of new possibilities ultimately increasing your chance of staying off track longer. Try putting your ego aside and approaching calorie tracking from a neutral standpoint. What can you learn from the situation? You may even find the damage is not as bad as you had imagined. Even if you went way overboard, remember that it’s what you eat day after day that really matters not the occasional splurge.

4. Ask for help. When it comes to weight management many people feel a sense of pride in going at it alone. Yet research shows that social and emotional support from others can make it easier to lose weight and keep it off. Certain family members and friends can offer up timely reminders of your personal progress, putting a minor slip or overindulgence into perspective.

Not feeling especially supported by friends and family? Another convenient way to gather support is to join an online weight loss group. You can find various different teams and groups on the MyNetDiary website. And remember, at the end of the day it is all about progress not perfection!

Joanna Kriehn is a Registered Dietitian with a decade of experience working in the area of weight loss surgery. You can learn more about Joanna by visiting her LinkedIn page.

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Disclaimer: Please note that we cannot provide personalized advice and that the information provided does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit a medical professional.

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Holidays / Parties/Thanksgiving Holidays / Parties/Winter Holiday Season Weight Loss/Emotional & Mindful Eating

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