4 Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes: 4 Dealing with Setbacks

Today, we’re going to talk about the fourth common mistake that people make when trying to lose weight. I’ve been doing a series this month discussing these common mistakes, which is especially fitting in January as many people are trying to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t visited my recent posts, I encourage you to do that now to learn more about the first three common mistakes I’ve already addressed. Otherwise, for a refresher: 

  • Mistake #1: Not having sustainable motivation. You need to have a deep, value-driven reason as to why you want to lose weight in order to have sustainable, long-lasting motivation. 
  • Mistake #2: Not having a clear cut plan, and not having a plan that’s right for you. 
  • Mistake #3: Not creating routines that eventually will become habits to help you stay on track, through both weight loss and maintenance.

Setbacks & Course Correction

For today, the fourth and final common mistake I see is that people do not have strategies in place to deal with setbacks. What do I mean by a setback? A setback can be a plateau despite best efforts, or it could be challenges with sticking to the plan and going off track. Now, the important thing to recognize is that setbacks can be part of the journey of permanent transformation.  The important step is to recognize what’s causing it, and put the appropriate strategies into place to correct it. One of the key principles of weight loss that is part of my program is having a method for course correction. This principle applies to both the weight loss phase and the maintenance phase.  

Setbacks can happen in two ways, body setback and a mind (behavioural).

The Body Setback

A body setback means that there’s something physically going on with your body that has caused the setback: slowing down in the rate of weight loss, plateauing, or maybe gaining weight, for example. There are many factors, beyond just the food you’re eating, that can affect your weight and your progress. So, it’s important to be able to take a step back and analyze the setback and what might be causing it. Unfortunately setbacks can be very discouraging and often cause people to just give in and give up. But, just recognize there’s always a reason, you just need to figure it out which  is exactly what  I do with my clients. 

There are many factors influencing weight loss in the body: what you’re eating, digestive issues, hormonal changes – especially during times of stress which affects cortisol levels. So you need to assess the various factors, determine what may have changed recently, then act on it. For example, I had a client who was moving along very well in her weight loss, when she suddenly hit a plateau despite sticking to all of her routines. We investigated as I asked her questions, and we discovered she was constipated and experiencing higher than normal stress which was impacting her sleep. So we looked at those issues and how to resolve them, after which her weight loss improved to how it had been  like before. Course correction for a body setback is really just about knowing what’s going on with your body and how to resolve those challenges. 

Some of the  common physical causes for a setback aside from not eating according to plan are:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Constipation
  3. Digestive issues 
  4. Increased stress
  5. Lack of sleep

So check in with yourself when you are frustrated with your results and see if any of these issues could be the cause to your setback.

The Mind/Behavioural Setback

You can also experience a setback of the mind, meaning that the person goes off track with their plan. It could be lots of little things sneaking into your diet or a full out binge.  When you find yourself falling off track, not following through with what you know you need to do, it’s about the mindset. Just like in the body there is usually a reason for this mindset setback so it is a matter of figuring out the cause for this setback and then applying strategies to deal with it so you can get back on track. 

When this happens, first you need to ask yourself: what’s changed? Often, it’s simply a change in routine that has thrown you off kilter. For example, just this morning I was messaging with one of my clients on my digital app, and I noticed her weight loss pattern over the past few days had been a little up and down, not making much progress. We were discussing the setback and what’s been going on, and she explained that she recently had a change in her work life routine the result of which was she stopped preparing her food ahead of time as she had beforehand, so she was reaching for quick foods that were not ideal in supporting her weight loss. This is a pretty clear cut example, but it isn’t always this way. 

Often a setback of the mind is about falling into old habits and cravings; many people are stress eaters, or emotional eaters, and find themselves reaching for unhealthy foods in difficult times. It’s just important to recognize what led to the setback, why it happened, and then identifying how you could handle it differently. For a setback of the mind, often it’s because you have lost track of the bigger picture, and why you want to do this. This is why it’s essential to have a very deep, value-driven reason to provide you with sustainable motivation throughout your weight loss journey. Reconnecting with that reason can help you get refocused and recommitted to the journey. 

Getting Back on Track

All this to say, it’s important to understand that setbacks do happen, but recognize the setback, identify the cause, and put strategies in place to get back on track and prevent the setback from happening again. It’s also important not to allow a setback to discourage you from the process; often it’s difficult when we aren’t seeing the expected results, and you may feel like giving up. The sooner you can be analytical, and identify the reason for the setback, the sooner you’ll feel empowered that you can do something about it and be able to get back on track. In my recent posts, I’ve been using sailing as an analogy for these common weight loss mistakes and how to avoid them. In this case, it’s like you’re leaving port, you know which island you want to get to, you’ve got your navigation plan, and you’re off. Setbacks are as if you start going off track when you’re sailing, no longer heading towards the chosen island. Firstly, you need to recognize that you’re going off track, and identify what you must do to get back on track soon, so you don’t go too far off in the wrong direction. Ideally, making small corrections or small tacks are easier to handle to a big correction. 

I hope this motivates you, and provides you with a new perspective on how to deal with setbacks. It’s okay for setbacks to be part of your journey, as long as you have the strategies and motivation to identify the issue and get back on track. This is important not only during the weight loss phase, but also during the maintenance phase, and I work on this with many of my clients. 

So there we have it: the four most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight. If you are struggling with weight loss and these challenges resonate with you, I encourage you to reach out to me, we can book a complimentary phone or video consultation where I can learn more about you, your unique challenges, and determine if my program is a good fit for you. You can do this by visiting my website, Dr.SherBovay.com, as well as the profile in my  Instagram account, where there’s an option to book a call. Especially as we approach the end of January, if your resolution to lose weight isn’t working out the way you hoped, don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand.

If you would like to learn more:
1. You can book a complimentary call, and discuss your challenges, and obstacles, and together we can determine if my program is right for you.
2. You can also go to my Facebook page, @DrSherBovay, where you can find and join my Private Facebook group, The FastLane Mind Body Reset Mastery Group. Here, I host Facebook lives and frequent posts where you can engage and learn more.