We’ve all been there. It’s weigh-in day, we get on the scale thinking thin thoughts, fingers and toes crossed that the number goes down, and while we can hope all we want the scale does the exact opposite and decides to tell us we gained weight this week. It’s happened to every single one of us. Trust me, you’re not alone. This happened to me not too long ago, and it got me thinking about what I can change and do right now to help make sure the following week wouldn’t have the same result. I ended up coming up with 10 things to do to help me (and you) bounce back after we see a gain on the scale.
#1: Assess What Happened
The first thing you need to do is reflect on the week and figure out exactly what happened to cause your gain. Of course, there are some cases where a gain happens despite the fact we did everything “right” all week long. Perhaps we had a little too much sodium or hormones are messing with us. These situations are unavoidable and will sometimes result in a gain despite our best efforts, but these tend to be the exception when it comes to seeing a gain, not necessarily the rule. Odds are we can find something that happened in the past week that might have helped the scale out a bit. Maybe we didn’t track a whole lot of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes), which would have added up, or maybe it was not tracking entire meals that contained Smart Points, which I know I’m guilty of. Did you eat different, less nutrient dense foods? Is working out typically a part of a week resulting in a loss and you didn’t move as much? Just check in and see if you can figure out what happened. Then think about what you can do to turn it around.
#2: Take An Emotional Inventory
Did emotions play a part in your food choices this week? Are you extra stressed at work and maybe that caused you to turn to food for some comfort? How did you sleep this week? Not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep can mess with both your system, preventing it from helping your body to shed pounds, and also your emotions, which might lead to gains. Take some time for a little self-care, relaxation, and reflection to help you get your emotions back on track.
#3: Drink Extra Water
This is something you can do this very second. Stop, drop, and chug right now. I’ll wait…
Okay, now that you’re hydrated, think back about your hydration habits this past week. The week before my gain, when I was down with a really bad cold, I was hydrating and drinking so much tea to try and flush the bug out of my system that it had to contribute to my 2.4 lb loss that week, but I know the week after I was actually pretty terrible at hydrating. It’s such a simple thing to do each and every day that has a huge impact on your weigh in, but it’s also the easiest thing to forget. Set a higher hydration goal and get it in every day.
#4: Focus on Protein
A major element of the Smart Points (and Freestyle) program is an emphasis on lean protein. There’s a reason food high in protein is significantly lower in smart points values than other items, and now Weight Watchers is taking it a step further and lean proteins are zero Smart Points. Protein is a key element in helping your body not only lose weight but flourish in general. Looking back at my tracker, the weeks I lose clearly have a protein focus, while weeks I might gain have more carb heavy days and I let my protein levels slip down. This next week, try adding a bit more protein to your meals whether it be chicken, seafood, or even a lean protein bar like Quest Bars (whey protein) or No Cow bars (my favorite non-dairy brand).
#5: Try A New Recipe
Sometimes we just need to shake things up a bit. There are great resources all over the internet for Weight Watchers Freestyle friendly recipes. Hit up Pinterest, the WW website, or one of the many food blogger’s sites for some recipe inspiration and try something new. A few of my favorite places to go are Emily Bites Blog, Skinnytaste, and Drizzle Me Skinny.
#6: Get In The Kitchen
First, if there is a food that sabotaged you this week, get in the kitchen and get rid of it. Hide it, or just toss it. I hate wasting food, but sometimes you just do what you have to do. Then it’s time to get in there and prep food so you’re prepared the next time hunger strikes. I love to have cleaned and chopped produce at the ready so I have plenty of 0 sp options to snack on throughout the day. Get in the kitchen and turn it into a place full of things that will help you stay on track.
#7: Get Moving
It’s always a good idea to get some extra activity in, but after a gain, I feel like it’s even more essential to get moving. I don’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym, but taking a few extra 10 minute walks here and there could really be enough to get the blood flowing and get the scale moving in the right direction again.
#8: Have a Plan
This tip kind of uses every other tip I mention, but it’s still worth saying. Having a plan to help you stay on track truly is half the battle. If you know when you’re going to the gym and what meals you’ll be eating during the week, the whole staying on track thing ends up happening automatically. Planning meals ahead of time means you know exactly what to pick up from the store and you’ll avoid those impulse purchases. Take a few minutes and plan your week or even your day and you’ll have a better chance of making the right choices.
#9: Set A Reward for yourself
As you probably know by now, I am a very rewards driven person. If I know there is some sort of reward waiting for me at the end of a task I am a lot more likely to buckle down and get it done. If you need to, set a reward for yourself for getting through this week (or even today!) on track. Did you meet your attendance goal of going to the gym 4 times this week? Did you only eat dessert twice this week, or did you manage to earn those WW blue dots every day? Awesome job! Feel free to treat yourself to something, but make sure it is not a food reward! Feeding our emotions (even positive ones) with food is something we are trying to avoid, so instead of treating yourself to a piece of pie or an ice cream sundae, make the reward something food-free. Take a luxurious bubble bath, buy yourself that new book you’ve been wanting, or maybe you’ve earned a new pair of (smaller!) jeans. Giving yourself a prize might just be that extra push you need to help you get it done.
#10: Forgive and move on
This is the most important thing for you to do after a gain. It happened and there’s nothing you can do about it. Forgive yourself for the number you see and move on. Your value is not found in the number on the scale anyway, so it doesn’t matter much at all. If you sit there and dwell on your gain, it will mess with your head and your emotions. Instead of getting down on yourself, forgive, forget, and start using all of the other 9 tips I mentioned before to get yourself back on the right track.
Those are my top 10 tips to help you bounce back after a gain. Do you have anything specific you do when the scale goes up?