I’ve Lost It! How I Avoid the Yo-Yo Weight Gain Cycle & Maintain Long-term Weight Loss

Yo-Yo Weight GainI got a big surprise when I stepped on the scale a week ago – my weight was up 2 pounds. Ok, maybe it didn’t come as so much of a surprise; I had in fact started to notice some extra ‘cushioning’ around my middle. While 2 pounds isn’t really a big deal, I certainly noticed it on my figure. And, I knew exactly what I had been doing differently that had caused the recent weight gain. But, I didn’t panic and switch into ‘diet’ mode, or get down about myself (which leads to emotional eating and more weight gain!). Instead, I simply focused on changing the behaviours that had contributed to change on the scale.

Here’s where I had been slipping and how I corrected it:

1. Not drinking enough water: I have been super focused lately, which means that I have been spending long hours at my desk, completely engaged in what I am working on. This also means though that I wasn’t drinking as much as usual. I would bring a glass of water to my desk, drink it, and then not get up to go get another one for a couple of hours.

When you don’t stay hydrated, your body doesn’t run as smoothly – you get irritable, suffer headaches and fatigue, and can end up eating more (since water helps you feel full and most people mistake thirst for hunger).

What I did instead: Take frequent breaks (at least once per hour) to get up, refill my water glass and stretch.

2. Eating too much: I have been ignoring my internal fullness signals at times lately – this is one of the ways that emotional eating shows up for me. I have been feeling a little stressed recently with a lot of extra activities in my schedule over the past month. Continuing to eat after my stomach tells me I have had enough is definitely an old pattern that has started to creep back in. Searching for an extra snack before bed is another one old habit that I have found myself reverting to also.

What I did instead: Slow my meals down, focus more on being ‘present’ while I eat (ie. Noticing the sensations of eating), and stopping before I become uncomfortably full. I have also made myself a cup of tea in the evenings when I’m looking for a snack – this satisfies my need for ‘something’ without adding the extra calories that a snack would.

3. Too little down time: I’ve been feeling like I have been go, go, go for the last month which has certainly contributed to stress and emotional eating.

What I did instead: I made myself an appointment for a reflexology session (for some much needed ME time). I also picked my daughter up from daycare a few hours early one day this week and we spent the afternoon snuggling together on the couch watching cartoons (for some US time that we were both craving).

4. Overindulging in wine: I like a glass of wine sometimes, but recently it seems like I’ve been having a glass every night. While there are benefits to moderate red wine consumption, alcohol certainly doesn’t help weight loss or weight management efforts, and especially can contribute to excess fat around the middle.

What I did instead: I made the decision to have no more than a bottle of wine a week (which is about 4 glasses for me) – this means that I can still have a glass several nights per week but not EVERY night! On the other nights I have been making myself a tea or just having an extra glass of water.

Once I recognized that my healthy behaviours had started slipping I made the decision to get back on track. As soon as I made these changes to my habits, the weight came back off without me really even thinking about it! I lost those 2 pounds in a week and returned to my normal weight.

If you want to avoid the yo-yo weight cycle, lose weight sensibly, and maintain it easily then we need to chat. Sign up for one of my Unzip Your Fat Suit workshops or send me an email to Lisa@healthappeal.ca and we can set something up. I look forward to hearing from you!

Take care and be well!




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