I’ve been on this weight loss journey since October 2010 – that’s a long time. Of course prior to then I tried every fad diet and failed miserably each time. However, in 2010 I found my a-ha moment, created habits and routines I could stick with, and finally got my weight under control. But here’s the thing…
Sometimes, even with all I know, I really suck at losing weight.
There are times my food is on point, I exercise regularly, and I feel and look great. Then, there are times I suck at it. Yep, I’ll admit it. My name is Tammy, owner of Organize Yourself Skinny, and sometimes I really suck at losing weight.
I’m human, not perfect, and love all things cheese. #thestruggleisreal
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since 2010 it’s this – it’s important to recognize, and hold myself accountable, to the things that sabotage my weight loss goals. I’m not being hard on myself. I’m being truthful. I (you) can’t change what I (you) don’t know.
With that said, here are 7 reasons I (we) sometimes suck at losing weight. Keep in mind, I don’t do these things all the time, but when I do, I struggle with my weight.
#1. I ignore the little bites
The moment I started to track my meals the weight melted off. In fact, controlling my portions and calories made more of difference than exercising – for me anyway. Don’t get me wrong, exercise matters but if I want to lose weight and keep it off then my diet matters more.
Every week I plan out and prep my meals. 96% of the time I know what I’m eating everyday all day. When I start to gain weight I know it’s not the nutritious portion-controlled meals I have planned but instead it’s the little bites that add up. The extra creamer in my coffee, the couple bites while cooking dinner, the leftover pizza crust on my kid’s plate, and all the other little extras that I enjoy without thinking. Those little bites add up quick.
The best way to control little bites is to track every bite and sip that goes into your mouth. You’re more likely to turn down those couple bites of leftover macaroni and cheese or pizza crust if you knew it meant an extra 200 calories! I don’t know about you but I rather spend those calories on something else.
#2. I stop tracking altogether.
Tracking food was (and still is) a powerful weight loss tool but, after doing it for so long, I thought I could go back to eyeballing portions. I got this, right? Um more like I got lazy. The reason my pants got tight and the scale went up was because I ate too much. Period.
Instead of keeping track of portions using My Fitness Pal I tried to keep everything organized in my head. Clearly, that didn’t work.
I need to hold myself accountable to the food I eat. Going back to the basics of food journaling always gets me back on track with my weight loss goals.
Eyeballing portion sizes works at times but if you struggle with self-control or portion-control (like I do at times) then eyeballing food shouldn’t be counted on for a long-term weight loss strategy. Again, you don’t know what you don’t know. In my experience, if you can’t remember what you ate then more than likely you ate too much.
Read more about my accountability strategies, and other weight loss strategies, in my ebook Organize Yourself Skinny.
#3. I drink my calories.
My biggest weight loss vice is coffee creamers and Starbucks. Trust me, I know how bad these things are for me. **sigh** I know. Again, I’m going back to tracking portions and calories. The only thing that keeps me from drinking all my calories is holding myself accountable by plugging my coffee drinks into My Fitness Pal BEFORE consuming. Doing this makes me think before I drink. However, when I really sucking at losing weight I go into denial mode and give myself 101 excuses why I need or deserve a café mocha. I have more control over coffee drinks than I used to but it’ll always be a struggle for me.
The same goes for soda or alcohol drinks. If you like having a Pepsi or glass of wine with dinner every night that’s at least 100 – 200 empty calories you’re consuming. My advice is to either plan for the calories or remove it.
#4. I buy trigger foods.
After I changed my eating habits, and lost weight, my cravings changed. I didn’t crave junk as much I did before. In fact, I couldn’t wait to drink green smoothies for breakfast and enjoy mason jar salads for lunch. This pasta-loving girl actually started to enjoy low-carb meals. It was a whole new me.
But the old Tammy was still there. I still loved cheese, pretzels, chocolate, and PASTA – these are my trigger foods. I thought I changed and was strong enough to have these foods in my home once in a while, but I was wrong. I have zero willpower with trigger foods and it I have them in my house I’ll eat every last bite.
When I suck at losing weight I buy trigger foods to enjoy in “moderation”. After a week of nibbling I’m sluggish, pants feel tight, and it shows on the scale. There’s no moderation happening.
I’ve said this many times before – willpower should be left for situations you can’t control. Identify trigger foods and save them for special occasions like parties and celebrations.
Your home is your castle. Fill it with foods that encourage a healthy lifestyle and move you towards your weight loss goals.
#5. I wear legging more than jeans.
Prior to loosing weight I lived in gaucho pants, dresses, or anything that didn’t have a waistline. When I look at old pictures of myself I’m embarrassed. Of course, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It’s been a long journey and I’ve worked hard to get here. However, I see a sad girl in those pictures. I knew I had it in me to do better.
I vowed to never wear “stretchy” pants again. However, I work at home and I love to be comfortable in leggings and a sweatshirt. Well, when I suck at losing weight I turn to leggings more out of necessity than comfort. Leggings are forgiving when I lack portion-control, give in to trigger foods, or when I’d rather stay on the couch than go to the gym. Unless I get on the scale have no clue if I gain weight or not, leggings are good like that.
Putting on a pair of jeans keeps it real. I can’t hide the extra 10lbs when trying to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans.
I love comfort just as much as the next person. But change never happens by staying in your comfort zone. I’ve learned that the hard way a couple times. Even if I don’t want to wear jeans every day I slip on a pair 1-2 times a week just to keep me honest.
#6 I lose discipline.
I couldn’t lose weight without menu planning, meal prep, and exercise. are 3 habits that need to be a priority with keeping weight a priority. These are 3 habits that make a huge difference in losing weight and I work very hard to keep each one a priority. Not only do these habits help me stay fit and healthy but each one keeps me sane and happy too. Without these habits my life is unorganized, chaotic, and stressful, and it’s difficult to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.
When I suck at losing weight it’s because Im not staying disciplined. I choose lazy over productive, takeout over homemade, and the couch over the gym. Sometimes it’s hard to break out of that rut but over the years I’ve learned many time over the extra effort it take to plan a menu, prep meals, or go to the gym is absolutely worth it.
At the end of the day I’m responsible for the decisions in my life. I choose whether or not to exercise. I choose to eat popcorn late at night. I choose that extra slice of pizza. When I make the wrong choices I suck at losing weight. When I stay mindful, discipline, and make the right choices I do great. Either way it’s my decision.
#7 I skip weekly weigh-ins
The biggest thing I do to suck at losing weight is skipping my weekly weigh-ins. Just like a pair of jeans the scale keeps it real. I know many people hate the scale but I find it helpful, and even necessary, to keep me accountable to my habits and focused on my weight loss goals. Some people use their clothes as a way to measure progress and success. I agree with this but for me once my jeans get tight I’ve already put on 10lbs. Stepping on the scale could’ve prevented that.
Changing our lifestyle is harder for some than it is for others. There’s so many factors that come into play and in the end we’re all human. We get lazy, stressed, and don’t feel like cooking. It happens. However to not suck at losing weight it’s important to take personally responsibility for the things that take us off track from our weight loss goals. Yes life happens, and we can’t control everything, but at the end of the we are responsible for ourselves.
Can you relate to any of this? I know I can’t be the only one who goes strong, falls of track, and comes back strong again. I can’t be the only one who totally sucks at losing weight sometimes. I want to learn from your struggles too.