Health & Wellness

Overcome 5 common weight-loss challenges

Don’t let a slight—or serious—hiccup spoil your weight-loss efforts. Find out how to tackle a handful of things that can throw a spanner in your weight-loss works.
Published 27 February 2017

How to cope when…

1. Your partner lives for takeaways

Live with someone whose love of pizza, burgers and every other kind of takeaway, means those foods are on the menu most days of the week? “Talk to your partner about what your weight-loss goals are and what you need to do to achieve them,” says clinical psychologist Dr Juliet Donald. If your partner loves takeaways, and that’s something you’re trying to eat less of, then you could ask that he or she makes the effort to eat that sort of food when you’re not around. But eating together shouldn’t be ruled out – compromise by choosing and cooking Plan-friendly recipes that excite you both.

2. Your workmates are giving you a hard time

Stuck in an office with a never-ending supply of birthday cake, and colleagues who make you feel guilty for saying ‘no thanks’ when slices are being handed around? “Explain that you’re trying to be healthier and ask for their support,” says Dr Donald. “You could also try introducing healthy alternatives to group activities, such as lunchtime walks or walking meetings.” But if your workmates don’t want to give up their biscuit-laden morning teas, bring along healthy snacks so you have an alternative choice, if you want it.

3. You weigh yourself 10 times a day

There’s a big difference between staying focused on your weight-loss goal and doing what it takes to get there, and obsessing over that number on the scale. So if you ever feel like you’ve become too hard on yourself or that you’re too fixated on just one aspect of your weight-loss journey, tell someone you trust. “When your focus on food or exercise becomes disruptive to your life and your relationships, it can be a sign that you may need help,” Dr Donald says. “Speaking to a dietitian or a psychologist may be helpful so you can lose weight in a way that’s healthy and sustainable, without losing your friends and your lifestyle!”

4. You’ve got insane PMS

If your mood takes a turn for the worse in the lead up to your period each month, here's how to start turning things around. Cut back on added sugar and saturated fat, avoid processed foods that have a high salt content, and give alcohol a miss. Instead, load up on complex carbs, fibre and protein by enjoying nutritious, satisfying meals like spaghetti bolognaise with wholemeal pasta, or a vegie-packed lasagne. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day, get plenty of sleep and walk, swim or do yoga to help ease symptoms.

5. There’s been a death in the family

Dealing with grief can place you and your loved ones under a great deal of strain, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to your weight-loss plan 100 per cent during this time. “Do your best to stick to your healthy eating and exercise plan, but allow yourself as many breaks as you need to help with the grieving process,” Dr Donald suggests.