Posted: Feb 04, 2013 9:30 AM
It happened the day after I weighed myself and was lower than I’d weighed in years. I was elated! I was proud! I was hungry. And so I thought I could give myself a little treat — a few Sun Chips with my healthy lunch. And a few more… okay a lot more with my dinner (a Greek salad). No, I'm not sick of them yet. It really is my favorite salad, and I'm not ashamed of the number of times I've eaten a Greek salad on this challenge. So there. The next day, I weighed myself – and I'd gained half a pound. I did it to myself, and I got what I deserved. So now what?

Save me from myself

I turned immediately to the DailyBurn experts — trainer Anja Garcia and nutrition expert Alexandra Jamieson — to help get me back on the right track to achieve my 10-pound weight loss goal. With just 12 days left as I write this, I'm starting to really wonder if I can do it after all.

However, Anja encourages me (and you!) not to give up if you suffer a setback or hit a weight-loss plateau (or, ahem, gain). She offers the following motivational tips:

  • Daily affirmations — Put a list of your goals somewhere you will see it every day. Everyone needs a reminder of what made them start in the first place.
  • Get a buddy — Accountability is one of the keys for successful change. Find a friend or join a running group. Workout together. Go through your meal plans and lean on them when things start getting rocky.
  • Reward yourself for your success — For every 5 to 10 pounds lost, buy yourself a nice non-food reward! Get a massage, a new workout top or a new pair of shoes. Celebrate the small victories on the way to the big one.

Curb a cheat

Alexandra also revealed that diet cheats happen at different times for different people for different reasons. She offers the following tips to identify when you feel a cheat coming on and how to avoid it:

  • If you cheat before lunch at work — Get up, stretch and take a walk to go get some herbal, tea or a cup of water. Maybe you've been at work for a few hours and your brain just needs a break.
  • If you cheat with sweet foods in the afternoon— You are probably not hungry, but you may be tired. You may be craving something sweet as a reward for your hard work. Try snacking on blueberries or a few tablespoons of unsweetened dried fruit. Make sure to get up and walk to your dried fruit stash. Don't open a huge bag and eat at your desk or you may find yourself reaching for multiple handfuls.

    Also, drink a serving of an iced herbal tea or an iced green tea. By rewarding yourself with something aromatic, you'll feel like you just treated yourself. If you are a pastry junky, drink a tea like chai (the tea, not the tea concentrate) that smells like cinnamon. It will replicate the bakery smell, plus cinnamon helps balance your blood sugar.
  • If you are a late-night snacker — Ask yourself, 'Am I actually hungry?' Did you not plan your day well enough and suddenly you are starving at home late at night? When you don't eat all day, you will eat anything that comes into your path later in the evenings. Most people struggle with the after-dinner cheat.

    Snacking after dinner is a sign of boredom, loneliness or exhaustion. If you snack late at night, you probably just need to go to bed and your brain's signals are off. Light from your television or your computer is stimulating. When you are tired, this can manifest in carbohydrate cravings if you don't respond to your body's exhaustion signals. Turn off the television and instead connect with your partner, go on a few dates to find a partner, do some light yoga or read a good book.

Instead of giving up like I normally would, I'm going to re-evaluate my choices and move past my Sun Chips mishap. I encourage you to continue on with your weight-loss goals, too.

More diet and exercise

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My personal weight-loss journey week 2 update
Weight loss in a five-pound package