Mind & Lifestyle
 min read

Getting back on track with Weight Loss Goals

Is life getting in the way of your health and weight loss goals? Here is how to get back on track.

Written by
Sanchia Parker
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist
Reviewed by

You started your health journey with the best intentions, determined to hit the gym daily and only eat healthy, balanced meals. But after a stressful week at work, a few nights of poor sleep, and several social events over the weekend, you’re struggling to stay away from the wine after dinner and your gym bag is still next to your bed at home. 

The good news is, this is all a perfectly normal part of life when making new healthier habits. Life gets in the way! But these blips don’t make you a failure, it simply means you are human. 

Making new habits can be difficult, and everyone slips up here and there when they are trying to create new habits. 

Consider when a baby learns to walk, it takes weeks, and months of developing the skills, confidence and experience before they take their first steps. They might tumble, or fall a few times, but with plenty of encouragement, time, and maybe even trying new approaches, the baby learns to walk, developing a new habit for life. 

So when we want to set a new habit or goal, whether it’s taking lunch to work every day, or doing a walk in the morning, it’s understandable that it can take time and effort before this habit becomes second nature. 

So if you do find yourself veering off course, try these tips to help you get back on track with your health goals.

1. Don't put it off - start now, not tomorrow

Don’t wait for yourself to feel motivated, or wait for a certain time or date. Instead, take one step today toward your goal. 

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Consider this

  • If your goal is to eat healthily, order fresh fruits and vegetables online to pick up after work.
  • If your goal is to join a gym, call 2 local gyms at lunch and book in a visit
  • If your goal is to start yoga, download a yoga app 

2. Focus on what you can control

Don’t wait for yourself to feel motivated, or wait for a certain time or date. Instead, take one step today toward your goal. 

It’s a fact of life that there are some things that are outside of our control. This includes the weather, the traffic, how busy things are, how people respond to us, other people’s actions or mistakes and so on. 

If we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on things outside of our control, it depletes the amount of available energy we can spend on the things within our control.

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What we can control

  • Our health goals
  • How we spend our time
  • What we feed ourselves
  • Our sleep schedule
  • How we handle work events

If you notice that you are spending too much time and energy focused on things outside of your control, it can make it harder to focus on setting new habits and goals. It can also increase the amount of stressful and anxiety feelings you experience. 

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Try this

  • Get a piece of paper and make two lists. One list is everything in your life you cannot control, influence or change in any way. 
  • One list is everything in your life you can control, influence or change in some way. 
  • Start to actively notice when you spend a lot of time and energy focused on things outside of your control. Ask yourself where this could be spent instead. 
  • Stick your list up somewhere you can see it every day as a reminder of the things you can actively focus your energy and attention on. 

3. Schedule your habits into your calendar

Using your calendar to schedule your habits can help you prioritise your time and energy during the day. After all, your habits need a time and place for you to complete them!

First, consider what habit goal you need to put into your calendar. Is it to prep healthy meals? Do grocery shopping? Buy new workout gear? A brisk walk?

Then decide on the best time and place during the week you can schedule this in. If your energy levels are higher in the morning, perhaps this is when you schedule your walk. If you have a long lunch break perhaps this is when you can pick up some new workout leggings. 

When you block off time for a habit or a goal it can make it easier to complete.

4. Focus on progress, not perfection

Focusing on progress, rather than being perfect encourages us to focus on smaller achievements instead of the end goal. This can feel more realistic and achievable. 

If we believe we have to workout 7 days a week and eat perfectly in order to lose weight it can feel restrictive and overwhelming. But if we are currently doing no exercise, then even one walk a week is progress! If we are currently eating no vegetables at dinner, then even one even meal with vegetables is progress!

So consider your current habits, and how you can make small changes that progress in the right direction. 

  • If you currently eat a takeaway meal for every lunch, could you start by taking in a homemade lunch one day per week?
  • If you currently do an average of 4,000 steps a day, could you aim to increase that to 4,400?
  • If you currently spend 2 hours in the evening scrolling through your phone, could you reduce that to 1 ½ hours? 

Strive each day to just make one small change toward progress. Each tiny change adds up over time! 

5. Accountability buddy

An accountability buddy (whether it’s a friend or partner) can help keep you focused and motivated on your goals. 

If there is someone in your life who is also working on similar goals to you, consider reaching out and offering to be accountability buddies. Knowing someone else will be checking on your progress can be a powerful motivator.

An accountability buddy may send motivating messages, offer support or even some healthy competition to inspire you. 

You can also reach out to your dietitian and health coach if you’d like someone to check in on you and your goals each week. 

6.Consider the role of alcohol in your goals

If you notice yourself going off track every time you have a wine or two (or three!) you might need to consider if alcohol is affecting your goals. 

Not only does alcohol contain empty calories, offering no nutritional benefits, but it lowers our inhibitions. This means we are more likely to forget our resolve to steer clear of the dips and crackers, and end up eating more than we intended to. 

Alcohol also affects sleep, so we wake up feeling lower in energy, and more tired than if we had not drunk. We may even crave sugar and extra caffeine due to feeling low in energy - both of which can hinder health goals. 

Try taking a break from alcohol and see if it helps you stay on track with your health goals. 

Change is hard, but there is help

Change can be hard. If you’re looking for a supportive approach to weight loss, Rosemary Health can help. We have doctor & dietitian-guided weight loss programs that consider your lifestyle, goals and your approach to food and wellbeing.

Lose 10% weight, feel better
Doctor-guided weight loss. Free online visit.
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