Weight Regain and Getting Back on TrackMarch 14, 2022
If we are honest, we have all found ourselves trying to get back on track in life, at one time or another. Whether it is trying to get back on track financially, emotionally, physically, or in some other way, having to obtain a goal we have already achieved in the past can seem daunting and downright frustrating.
Weight regain and getting back on track can be particularly discouraging. Overeaters tend to be sensitive people who easily beat up on themselves for going astray, adding an additional layer of complication to weight regain.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, countless people resorted to emotional eating and ended up putting on extra weight. Others had extra time to diet and exercise and were able to do so successfully. Still, others were so stressed out that they ate significantly less than usual. All of these behaviors are habits that can be altered.
Emotional Eating Can Be Tricky To Resolve
Emotional eating can be, especially, tricky to resolve. We often turn to food mindlessly to calm our nerves, stuff our feelings, and numb out. Just as alcoholics turn to liquor, some people use food as their substance of choice. If you turn to food, you need to know that it isn't about the food.
The key to breaking any addiction is to first acknowledge you have a problem. In the case of weight regain, we must recognize that we have succumbed to the temptation of food over and over again. Next, we need to become aware of when and why we reach for food. This is, usually, much harder said than done.
Our current eating habits have been ingrained in us for many years, probably since childhood. Although we have experienced success losing weight in the past, weight regain may cause us to wonder how we ever lost the weight in the first place. It can seem like it took gargantuan strength and willpower to shed the weight. We might question how we could ever summon such strength again, especially during challenging times.
Weight Regain And Getting Back On Track
In order to get back on track, it is imperative to remind ourselves that we have achieved our goal weight at least once before. Food has been serving as a crutch, preventing us from using our emotions to our advantage.
The reality is that our emotions offer us important insights about life. They make life worth living, provide intuition and warning signs about important decisions, and help us to connect with other people. Suppressing emotions is a habit that needs to be broken in order to break up with overeating.
Learn to appreciate the richness of your feelings instead of stuffing them down with food. What are your feelings trying to tell you?
Overwhelming emotions will not overtake you or last forever. Although it may sound cliché, allowing yourself to feel your emotions and let them pass is an important life skill. Many of us were taught as children that our feelings did not count and were not meant to be honored. As adults, this go-to attitude about emotions no longer serves us.
How Do You Feel About Weight Regain and Getting Back On Track?
Let’s examine our feelings toward weight regain so that we can get back on track.
It is important to assess how you shed the weight and how you regained it. Did you crash diet? Yo-yo diet? Fast? Do excessive exercise? Have weight loss surgery? As to weight regain, weight lost slowly over time is more likely to stay gone. If you lost weight quickly, your metabolism may be slower now. If you then increased your caloric intake, your slower metabolism may account for some of the weight gain.
Be honest with yourself and evaluate where the regain stemmed from. Have you been exercising less? Eating more? Binge eating? Emotional eating? Are you more sedentary? Getting less sleep? Experiencing more stress? Was your method of losing weight initially too restrictive?
Developing A New Relationship With Food
As a life and wellness coach and psychotherapist, I help my clients develop a new relationship with food. Acknowledging your feelings and eating whole foods and balanced meals and snacks become the norm.
We work toward a sustainable lifestyle rather than a strict diet. You may want to consider working with a professional to get the support you need. A professional coach or therapist will be able to help you address painful emotions, recognize your behavior patterns, and offer feedback. You might try journaling as another way to get in touch with your emotions.
Once you have evaluated where you have been in terms of weight loss and weight gain, it is time now to start taking steps to achieve your new goal weight.
Remember that small changes add up to big results over time.
Resist the urge to beat up on yourself for giving into temptation or skipping a workout. Acknowledge what got you here, examine what you can learn from it, and immediately move forward. Use any energy you might expend feeling guilty to propel yourself forward instead. Go for a walk, get the rest you need, journal, hit the gym, call a friend, or indulge in any other self-care technique unrelated to food.
Remind yourself that you have achieved weight loss before. You have learned from it. You can and will do it again!
ABOUT THE AUTHORCoach Jenn A. Nocera, MA, MFT, CLSC, CPFT is a Life & Wellness Coach, Psychotherapist, and Personal Fitness Trainer with advanced degrees in Behavioral Science, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Therapy. She works with clients to redesign their lifestyle habits. To learn more about her services visit www.FormulaForExcellence.com
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