So you had more chocolate than you planned. Plus another glass of wine. Or three. And now your waistband's feeling it. The key to moving on and losing pounds is not to worry so much about where your weight is right now, says Liz Josefsberg, the weight-loss coach behind Jennifer Hudson and Charles Barkley's successes. It's to get your mind and your intentions in the right spot so your healthy habits can click into place (and the extra pounds can drop off). Three of Josefsberg's favorite strategies:
1. Lower the bar.
If you keep falling off your plan, don't keep trying to get back on it, says Josefsberg. That'll just leave you feeling more stuck. Do something else to build your success back up first – something really, really easy and that has no 'I've-failed-at-this' baggage attached.
"I ask my clients to promise me they'll just drink a glass of water first thing every day for a week," she says. "It's such a 'gimme' that they're soon dreaming up more challenging things to do, like, 'OK, and I can probably try eating a healthy breakfast, too,' or 'I can double up on the vegetables instead of the main course this week, too.'"
If you make it easy to rack up the successes, you can ratchet up your confidence and naturally set yourself back on track.
2. Don't worry if your motivation wanes a bit.
"Feeling it starting to decline doesn't mean you're falling off a cliff. You have the power to get your momentum moving again," Josefsberg says. "As soon as you start to feel your motivation drop, skip any despair or hand-wringing and take a small step to bring it back up again. Try reading success stories online, adding a great new song to your playlist, or going to a new workout class. These actions don't have to be huge or life-altering, but do something." Motivation loves action.
3. List what you need to do...
…in order to do what you need to do. What does that mean? If you end up eating not-great food because you don't have anything healthy around, the secret to success isn't saying "I need to go to the grocery store more." It's deciding what has to take place so you get to the grocery store more. Do you need to take a different route home? Plan for later kid pickup at daycare? Make a list on Sunday mornings?
Write down what you want to happen, then list three ways that you can actually accomplish it. That's what turns a list of things you intended to do into things that you did do. Including "lose that extra weight."