Yes, we have all been there before! You start out great, plan all your meals, stock up your fridge, get rid of any temptations from your pantry… And all goes well for the first few days. Then, the inevitable happens… a birthday, a stressful day at work that requires a comfort meal, a fight or a breakup that leads to a chocolate binge…

And it is the end of another diet attempt!

But does it have to be that way? What if you plan for them, anticipate them and find other coping mechanisms?

Everyday stressors will always pop up. There will always be holidays, birthdays or parties to attend. And there will always be stressors at work or with family.

Many people turn to food for comfort when tough or stressful times occur. This can quickly lead to them abandoning their weight loss goals. Are you one of them?

Finding ways to plan for these times  and developing proper coping skills will help you stay motivated no matter what life throws your way.

How do you plan for them? 

Start now by problem solving and brainstorming about the possible weight loss challenges you may face and setbacks you could have.

Write them down, write down best and worse case scenarios, and how you are going to handle them.

For instance…

  • You had a stressful day at work and feel jittery and angry.
  • Your usual coping skill: when you get home you devour a bar of chocolate
  • Your new coping skill: you put on some calming music and do yoga.

Plan your coping strategies ahead of time and this will keep you from getting off track and losing motivation when these inevitably happen.

In fact, studies have shown that people who are better at handling stress and have better coping strategies will lose more weight and keep it off longer.

Consider using some of these methods to cope with stress or challenges:

  • Exercise
  • Breathe deeply
  • Take a bath
  • Go outside and get some fresh air
  • Play with a pet
  • Clean your house
  • Call a friend
  • Ask for help

Remember to also plan for holidays, social events and eating out. You can research restaurant menus in advance and find a healthy option. At parties, you can bring a healthy dish or adapt and eat only those foods you know are healthier options. (try to stay within your TLC food types and allowances)

It is crucial to plan for setbacks and have good coping practices. If you have always used food as a coping mechanism, you will fall into these patterns again unless you start practicing other ways to cope.

Start your list of potential challenges and alternative coping mechanisms right now.