Many of us begin the New Year with lots of momentum to achieve our goals. Whether you started your medical weight loss program on January 1, or just recommitted to it with renewed vigor, you probably felt energized and ready to make this the year you achieve the weight loss you’ve always wanted. Now, several months later, you may be feeling a little loss of motivation. Are you wondering where your weight loss mojo went? Don’t worry. It’s common to experience a bit of a slump six weeks or so into a weight loss program. How you deal with it is crucial, though. Here are five ways to get back on track—quickly—and regain your momentum.
- Uncover your temptation zones. Making your weight loss plan a priority can feel easy initially, but over the longer term you may find yourself feeling more likely to stray. If this is you, do a little investigating to find those times of the day when you feel most tempted. Maybe it’s while you’re watching TV at night. Perhaps it’s right when you walk in from work, and you’re tired and stressed.
Homework: Once you identify these areas, find a positive activity to replace them. Instead of watching TV, head to your library and pick up the latest bestseller that’ll keep your mind engrossed (and your hands busy)! If arriving home after your daily commute gets you down, try to hit the gym on the way, or head back out for a walk soon after.
- Do something different. If you’ve gotten your physician’s clearance to exercise, hopefully you’ve been getting active on a regular basis. If so, you may be falling into a workout rut. Doing the same thing day after day can get boring! It’s important to try new things and keep your body (and mind!) guessing.
Homework: Try a new workout this week (with your physician’s ok). Buy a new DVD, check out a dance class, or start strength training. Even a change of venue can do the trick; for instance, if you love to walk, try a new route. If you always listen to the same music, switch it up.
- Cook something different. Yep, you guessed it: Eating the same thing day after day can make your motivation flag, too. Keep your taste buds inspired by trying something new.
Homework: If you’re on the CMWL Modified Plan, try at least two new recipes this week, and eat one new food. Over the longer term, try to cook at least one new recipe or meal per week and keep an eye out at the grocery store for new fruits and vegetables to try.
- Dig deeper. It’s easy to stay motivated when everything else in your life is going swimmingly. But throw in a couple stressors, and suddenly weight loss commitment can become harder to sustain. If holiday bills are getting you down, or the seemingly never-ending winter storms are making you depressed, this in turn could be affecting your weight loss motivation.
Homework: Take a good hard look at what’s really getting you down. If you uncover other problems or challenges besides your weight loss program, address them productively and healthfully rather than with food.
- Treat yourself. Perhaps you’re doing everything right. Maybe you are following your medical weight loss plan to the letter, managing stress well, and being creative with your food and exercise. If that’s the case, find ways to celebrate it!
Homework: Buy yourself a new outfit, get a massage, or have a pedicure. If money’s tight, try a clothing swap with a friend, arrange a game night at your house, or go to a matinee movie. You deserve it!
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