So you’d been eating healthy nutritious foods for a while and had found your groove with exercising regularly. You’d been seeing some great weight loss progress and you were feeling really positive and in control. But then…. it all went out the window. Now you’re trying to get back on track with your weight loss after a splurge.
Maybe it was a special occasion. Maybe you just couldn’t control a craving and went overboard. Maybe you had a really, really bad day and the only thing that made sense was seeking out comfort food.
Whatever speed bump it was that you ran into, never fear! There are simple ways to get back on track, and all your hard work wasn’t for nothing!
Cheat days are okay!
Psst… want to know a secret? It’s actually a good thing to indulge now and then. We know from long term studies on weight loss that following strict diets do work initially, but that often this weight is regained in the months or years that follow. In fact, the greatest method for real weight loss that stays off is, in fact, treating your new habits as a whole lifestyle change instead of a diet. What this means, is that you.
What this means in the simplest terms is that anything you decide to tweak, whether it’s diet, exercise, or other habits to get healthy need to be changes that you could see yourself continuing for a lifetime. Can you imagine never having a treat again? Doubtful.
Instead, taking a more balanced approach where the goal is to make treats an occasional guilt free indulgence instead of a frequent go-to is likely to be more successful. Yes, your weight loss may be slower, but you are also more likely to be able to stick with it and keep that weight off for good.
Think by month, not by day.
If you look at the ratio of your positive and healthy behaviours over the month, do they outweigh the unhealthy ones? Has your weight come down in that month? Then one day out of the month isn’t a big deal in the scheme of things. Every day is a new opportunity to make improvements. To take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to work instead of drive, choose a salad instead of chips, get well hydrated, eat fruit instead of sweet biscuits. Weight loss after a splurge will plateau for a little while before picking up again.
Have a light day or two.
If you feel you overdid things, try swapping to some lighter meals for a few days to even things out. Choose salads and soups, fruit, and lean protein. Alternatively, you could continue with your usual meals but reduce the portion size slightly. Fit in a little bit more physical activity if that works for you. These small steps can help kickstart weight loss after a splurge.
Did you know that many comfort foods are high carbohydrate? When we lose weight we are using up our stores of energy- carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Carbohydrate is stored in the body along with water, so if you suddenly introduce a large load of carbohydrate into the body there will be water retention that comes with it. If you jump on the scales after a splurge, don’t be surprised if you see a few extra kilograms there.
It’s highly doubtful this is body fat, and much more likely to be fluid. Reduce your carbohydrate portions slightly over the next few days and you will find this water weight shifts as you move back into that weight loss fat burning zone.
Another reason for fluid retention can be high salt foods. This doesn’t just apply to those savoury splurges. Many treat foods that we would consider to be sweet foods also contain high levels of salt. Make sure you drink extra water to help clear this salt out of your system and reduce fluid retention.
Practice self-compassion during weight loss after a splurge.
Take notice of the thoughts running through your head. Are you berating yourself? Experiencing guilt? Defeat? Disappointment? We often speak to ourselves harshly, so it can help to remind yourself of what you would say to a friend who was experiencing this. Then take this advice yourself.
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