When You're About to Quit

Sometimes life can throw a few curveballs that can throw off a weight-loss plan. We gathered 8 expert tips to help you keep it going even when you feel like you can't.
Woman trying to lift weights

You're bored. Frustrated. Exasperated. Tired. Just too busy to even think of trying to lose weight. You want to quit.

Don't despair. You've reached the point in your weight-loss project that truly determines whether or not you're going to get to your goal and stay there. Now it's up to you.

"Most people trying to lose weight go through periods when they're discouraged," says Dr. Howard Rankin, a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, psychologist and founder of the Institute for Mind-Body Medicine. "One of the factors that distinguishes people who are successful from people who aren't is that people who are successful quit for a day or so, then get back on. Unsuccessful people quit and give up for good."

Quit or Keep Going: It's Up to You
Picture yourself standing at a fork in the road toward your weight goal. Go one way, and you're off track completely. The longer you keep going that way, the harder it will be to get back to where you were. Or, choose to keep going and make it to your ultimate weight goal that much quicker. But that's much easier said than done, right? Not with the right tools. Consider these suggestions from Rankin and from Palma Posillico, general manager of training and development for Weight Watchers International:

Expect it.
Wanting to give up is normal, says Rankin. And if you plan for what to do when quitting crosses your mind, you'll be more likely to decide to stick with it.

Get a move on motivation.
If you feel like giving up and want to give your efforts a boost, says Posillico, try using Motivating Strategy, a useful tool from Weight Watchers Tools for Living. Picture yourself at your weight goal—how does it feel? Spend a few minutes each day imagining what it will be like. (Subscribers only, click here for more information on Motivating Strategy.) One message board user says she looked at Weight Watchers Success Stories for motivation. "I would visualize myself in their place. I thought of what my pictures would look like, what 'tips' I would share." Try it.

Eliminate the word "quit" from your vocabulary.
Perhaps instead of "quitting," you're deciding to maintain the weight you've already lost, just for a little while, until you get your motivation back. "Learning to maintain along the way is a very successful strategy," says Posillico.

Don't let plateaus put you off.
Another user says: "I almost quit when I was still a few pounds over my weight goal. A lot of resentment grew between me and the scale." If your weight loss has slowed or even stopped, despite what feels like your best efforts, keep at it. Take another look at your Winning Outcome (another powerful tool from Weight Watchers Tools for Living), the goal you set when you first started. "The thing that kept me going and striving to lose those last few pounds (and it took me months)," says the user from above, "was that I wanted to be a Lifetime Member."

Figure out what's worked in the past.
Look through your Journal at weeks that have worked for you—if you're a subscriber, clicking on the weights in your Progress Charts will bring you to your Journal for that week. What did you do? This week, focus only on the task of repeating what you did that week. See if it works again.

Try Meal Ideas.
If you're bored with eating the same foods, or sick of figuring out plan-friendly options, Meal Plans are a great way to diet without deliberation. WeightWatchers.com subscribers get weeks' worth of Meal Ideas.

Find a meeting.
Get yourself in the company of people who you know will help motivate you, like the people at Weight Watchers meetings. Post on the message boards.
About six months ago, meetings member Elaine almost quit. "My motivation had just vanished," she says. She turned to the message boards, and, she says, the people she found on them helped get her going in the right direction again.
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