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  • Writer's pictureMark Edwards

A Coach's Tips to Get Back on Track with Weight Loss

Updated: May 9


As a nutrition coach, I see clients who have fallen off the weight loss wagon for years before coming to me for help. It's common enough. Whether skipping a few workouts or letting healthy eating habits slip, you may feel that your progress has derailed, so screw it. Why bother?

But the journey to a healthy lifestyle is not a straight path—it's filled with ups and downs. The key to success is knowing how to get back on track with your weight loss goals, no matter how far you've strayed. It's never too late.

Don't Beat Yourself Up. Just Move Forward

In modern-day Newspeak, this could be stated as "The Importance of Forgiveness."

One of the first steps to get back on track is forgiving yourself. Life is unpredictable, and setbacks happen to everyone, even world-class athletes. Beating yourself up over past slip-ups only hinders your progress. Self-flagellation accomplishes nothing unless you're a 13th-century monk somewhere in the European Dark Ages.

Acknowledge the setback, forgive yourself, and move on with determination and grit.

Setting Realistic Goals

When re-engaging with your diet and exercise plan, setting small, achievable goals is crucial. Trying to make drastic changes overnight can lead to frustration and burnout. Start with simple changes, like eating breakfast instead of skipping it. Incorporate more vegetables into your meals. Commit to a daily walk after supper or do some pushups right after getting up in the morning.

Small successes build momentum and keep you motivated.

Healthy Eating: The Foundation of Weight Loss

Eating habits are the cornerstone of any successful weight loss plan. Incorporating healthy foods into your diet doesn’t just help you lose pounds; it also improves your overall health. Including a protein source as part of your breakfast and as the centerpiece of meals throughout the rest of the day is a great way to reduce cravings and enhance muscle maintenance and growth.

Protein is King of the Macros.

Get more protein and set yourself up for a hot start.

The Role of Healthy Foods

Focusing on nutritious foods like whole grains, lean proteins, and a variety of fruits and vegetables can make a significant difference in your weight loss journey. Not only do these foods provide the energy you need for physical activity, but they also keep you feeling fuller longer, helping you to avoid overeating.

If you've slid into junk food territory for awhile, you can get back on track by making small changes and gradually swapping out some of the less healthy choices for lower-fat, higher-protein foods that are less processed. This simple change will pay huge dividends.

A word about cottage cheese. Yes, it's a moderate-protein, low-fat food. But it screams "diet!" Has anyone ever sat down and enjoyed a bowl of dry chunks of curdled milk?

When I hear the words "cottage cheese," it reminds me of dieting in the 1970s. That's the territory my Mom inhabited. Cottage cheese, a coffee, and a cigarette.

Losing weight isn't supposed to be about torturing yourself with foods you hate.

If you LIKE cottage cheese, have at it. But the point is that you don't have to eat foods you hate to lose weight.

Steak and Vegetables

Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Skipping Meals and Overeating

Skipping meals might seem like a quick way to cut calories, but it can actually lead to overeating later in the day. Those hunger pangs you’ll experience in the mid-afternoon will lead to consuming more calories, and then you end up in a vicious cycle. Maintaining a regular eating schedule helps regulate hunger cues and prevents binge eating. Planning for your next meal is crucial to avoid overeating and maintain a regular eating schedule, ensuring you're prepared when hunger strikes.

Meal planning and prepping are essential skills to learn and eventually master. Start slow and start now.

Exercise: A Pillar of Weight Loss

Physical activity is essential for shedding pounds. But remember, it's important to find a form of exercise you enjoy and stick with it. Sustainable is the keyword.

This is all about building better habits.

Deciding to run 5k every morning when you've always hated running may not be the way forward. Start smaller. Make exercise manageable and repeatable. Then build more distance, more intensity, and more volume as you build that habit.

Rinse and repeat.

The Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Engaging in regular exercise not only helps burn extra calories but also boosts your mood and energy levels. Exercise benefits muscle mass, circulation, heart health, lung function, mood, brain function, memory, cognition, and much more. Exercise is the silver bullet.

There is no downside to exercise.

Whether it’s strength training, cardio, HIIT, or a combination of the three, incorporating different kinds of movement can build a stronger foundation and keep your routine exciting and effective.

Don't wait to "feel motivated." You'll wait forever. "I'll start in the spring." "I'll start after the New Year." I'll start after the next election." "I'll start after the Eagles get back together."

No, you won't. Stop procrastinating, Stop lying to yourself.

Just get after it.

Action spurs motivation, not the other way around.

Barbell Press Crossfit
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Building a Sustainable Exercise Routine

Be aware of your current fitness level so you don't do too much too soon. For many, there's a sense of urgency and wanting to "catch up" but this often leads to injury.

You're not "catching up."

Ease into exercise if you've been sedentary for a while. Going "the Full Monty" right away is a recipe for injury, and injury is something you don't need, especially if you're older.

Diet and Nutrition: Customizing Your Plan

Understanding that diet is not one-size-fits-all is key to successful weight loss. Tailoring your nutrition to fit your personal preferences and lifestyle can make a significant difference.

This is where a qualified Nutrition Coach makes things happen.

Creating a Balanced Meal Plan

Naturally, a balanced meal plan includes a variety of foods to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. That seems like a no-brainer.

But you'd be surprised by how many people who contact me about coaching say they understand this but don't.

As I mentioned, protein should become the centerpiece of every meal. No Wheaties for breakfast, pal. It's not "The Breakfast of Champions." It's "The Breakfast of Chumps."

Start the day with protein-dense food, whether it's a scrambled egg, some Greek yogurt, or a whey protein smoothie.

For the rest of your daily meals, protein, fresh vegetables, and minimally processed carb sources should make up your plate.

The Importance of Hydration

Drinking enough water is essential to lose weight and enhance overall health. It aids digestion, helps suppress appetite, and keeps you hydrated during workouts.

Water purifier

Staying Motivated and Accountable

Weight loss is a journey, and like any long journey, it requires motivation and accountability to reach your destination.

Finding Support

Whether it’s a friend, family member, online community, or professional coach, having support can make a huge difference in staying on track. Sharing your goals and progress can provide the encouragement needed to keep moving forward.

Acknowledge Your Achievements

Don’t forget to recognize your achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your progress helps reinforce positive behaviors and keeps you motivated. Every small achievement can be viewed as a victory.

I hesitate to use the word "celebrate." Why? Because these days some pretty harmful things are "celebrated," including obesity. Diabetes and early death aren't things that should be celebrated. Let's be honest with ourselves.

Get Back on Track with Weight Loss: Conclusion

If you want to get back on track with weight loss, it requires a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and a positive mindset. Remember, setbacks are a normal part of the journey. What matters most is your ability to forgive yourself, set achievable goals, and keep moving forward. Additionally, getting enough sleep is crucial for weight control, as adequate rest helps regulate the hormones needed for managing weight. Experts recommend adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. With dedication and the right strategies, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your weight loss goals.

If you found this post useful and know someone who could benefit from it, please share!

Disclaimer: All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. No information provided is to be construed as medical advice. If you have medical issues, always consult your doctor.


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