Q&A: Why do I keep losing and regaining weight?

The Question

Over the last few months, I've lost about 15 pounds and gained back like 10 pounds. So, I've really only lost 5 pounds. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Why do I keep losing and regaining weight? 

The Answer 

Thank you for the question. A lot of people experience this so know that you're not alone. 

Based on the information in your question, I've got 3 possible things you can do.

Tip #1: Decide On Your Strategy

In your question you don't mention specifically what you're doing to lose and regain the weight. So I have to make a guess here. And my guess is that you're going on a diet, losing the weight, then going off the diet, and regaining the weight.

If my assumption is right, then you'll definitely want to decide on your strategy. 

Do you want to continue trying diets or do you want to change your lifestyle? 

When most people go on a diet, there's typically a short term mentality that comes with it. Like thinking you'll go on a diet for a short time, get your desired result, then go off the diet. 

The short term diet mentality is always going to produce a short term result. 

Let's think about the mechanics of it.

We go on a diet and eat really healthy. We lose weight.

We stop the diet and eat really unhealthy. We gain weight. 

It makes logical sense to lose and regain weight if we're focused on a short term diet. 

So, if this is you, I want to encourage you to get out of the short term diet mentality and decide on a new strategy. 

I want to encourage you to find a way of eating that feels good to you. And use it to change your lifestyle in the long term. 

If you decide to change your lifestyle, your brain will likely fight you on it. Our brains don't like change. They like to do what they know. But you can move forward and change your lifestyle anyways. Your brain will just need a little time to get used to the new way of living. 

So, decide first. Do you want to change your lifestyle for the long term?

If the answer is yes, then create your plan for your new lifestyle. Practice that new lifestyle. And eventually it will become your new "normal."

Tip #2: Keep A Food Journal For 1-2 Weeks

Let's say my first assumption was wrong and you haven't been in the short term diet mentality. Let's say you've been eating healthy all along and you're still losing and regaining weight. 

If this is you, I suggest you keep a food journal for the next 1-2 weeks. Write down every single thing you eat and drink. Anything you put in your body, write it down. 

Keeping a food journal may sound tedious but it's a great way to gain awareness about what's going into your body. 

Sometimes we do things unconsciously. We eat things and we don't even realize it. 

If you start to write everything down, you'll gain awareness of what's happening and you'll be able to see in black and white if you are truly eating how you want to eat. 

Now, many people who start keeping a food journal for the first time tend to use it as a way of making themselves feel bad. 

They may have thought they were eating one way. But by keeping the food journal they start to really see the truth. And they don't like the truth. 

If you keep a food journal, please don't use it as a way of making yourself feel bad. Think of yourself as a scientist and the food journal as your data. That's it. It's just data you need to analyze in order to make an informed decision about your next step.

Speaking of the next step...

If your food journal shows you that you have not been eating healthy, then go back to Tip #1: Decide On Your Strategy (above). 

But if your food journal shows you that you have been eating healthy, then I recommend you read Tip #3: Consider Getting More Help (below). 

Tip #3: Consider Getting More Help

You've told me that over the last few months, you've lost about 15 pounds and gained back like 10 pounds.

If you've been consistent about eating healthy and you've confirmed that by keeping a food journal for 1-2 weeks, then I recommend you talk to your doctor. 

Tell them everything you've told me and more.

Your doctor will be able to determine if there's anything else going on in your body.

After you talk to your doctor, you may want to consider hiring a Weight Coach. If your doctor gave you the OK to keep working on your weight loss goal, then a Weight Coach can help you find exactly what's keeping you from reaching your goal.

The Wrap-Up

If you're trying to lose weight but you keep losing and regaining the weight back, first decide on your strategy. Will you focus on a short term diet strategy or a long term lifestyle strategy? 

Second, keep a food journal for 1-2 weeks so you can become aware. 

And third, consider talking to your doctor. And after your doctor gives you the OK to proceed with your weight loss goals, consider hiring a Weight Coach to guide you through the weight loss process.

Thanks again for your question. I hope my answer helps you.

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