Gained a few pounds?

Turn setbacks into success with these bounce-back strategies.
Published June 21, 2019

No one’s perfect. No matter what your goal is, setbacks and small weight gains are bound to happen along your journey.

However, the setback isn’t what’s important—the way you respond to it is.

Accept, then act

If you gain, say, three pounds, you might think that you have ruined your weight loss progress.  These thoughts might lead you to get discouraged and lose the confidence you’ve been building. Such feelings can lead to behaviours that move you away from rather than toward your goals.

For instance, you might stop weighing yourself regularly, even though it has helped you along the way so far. Or, you start to avoid tracking  food, or make excuses to not attend Workshops. Left unchecked, a small weight gain can snowball into a larger one.

Your bounce-back plan

First thing’s first—if you think you have gained weight, make sure to weigh yourself right away so you can implement your strategies quickly. The definition of a ‘small weight gain’ varies, but as a general rule of thumb, if you’ve seen a weight gain of 3 pounds (1.5 kilos) over the course of two weeks or less, it’s a good time to take some action.

Small gains are a normal part of the weight-loss journey. What you should do is expect them, and develop an action plan in place for when they occur.

There are three steps to creating a small weight gain action plan:

  • Define your “action plan” weight—this may be between 3-5 pounds.
  • Write down 2 specific strategies you’ll use when you see your action plan weight on the scale. As you review the list, reflect on and identify strategies that have been most helpful to you in the past.
  • Post your small weight gain action plan somewhere you’ll see it when you need it.

Your food strategies

  • Commit to tracking your next meal.
  • Plan three meals for the week ahead.
  • Write a list and go grocery shopping.

Your activity strategies

Increase your activity—either the number of days per week or amount of time you are active each day.

Switch up your activity routine to keep it fresh, choosing activities you enjoy.

Your mindset strategies

Notice any thoughts related to the weight gain or set back that could lead your behaviours to get off track. Give them a reality check. (For more on this, see the June 16 weekly topic by clicking here.)

Practice a growth mindset, asking yourself what you can learn and what changes you can make moving forward.

Talk to yourself like a friend.

Your Community Strategies

Attend a Workshop in the next day or two, even if it’s not one you normally attend.

Share your plan with someone and ask if you can follow up in a week to talk about how it’s going.

Check out the Get Back on Track Connect group for ideas and support.

When you think you may have gained weight, it can be tough to step on the scale. Treating yourself with compassion has been proven to help people respond more effectively during challenging times. And by having a plan in place before it even happens, you will be ready to act confidently and positively to get back on track.

Along the way, keep tracking your activity, your food and your weight. Remember you’re rewarded for tracking your weight once a week—no matter what number is on the scale. Consistently tracking your weight is one of the best predictors of weight loss over time! It also helps you know if your bounce back plan is working.