Many clients tell me they can stay on track for achieving their weight loss goal during the week but find weekends trickier due to the change in routine. Usually, this is amplified when they travel, be it for work or pleasure.
If you relate to getting off track in these situations, there is a solution. Remember, not everyone puts on weight when they travel or becomes a couch potato on the weekend. Allow yourself the opportunity to learn how to stay on track in these situations.
Staying on track for weight loss means being consistent with the right behaviors. Your mindset – the way you think and what you believe – determines how you will behave. If you want to be consistent with your weight loss behaviors – even when you travel – you must have thoughts and beliefs in place that support consistent action.
Scenario: Travelling for work
Imagine a scenario where Julie wants to lose weight. She starts out enthusiastically and makes some good progress. While she is feeling motivated and in-control things go well then one day she is asked to travel interstate to attend a work conference. “Oh no,” thinks Julie, “I can’t stay on track and lose weight while I’m away for a week. There are all those dinners to attend the conference and I won’t be able to exercise. It will be a disaster!”
These types of thoughts inevitably lead to self-defeating behaviors . Here’s how it works:
- Julie believes she won’t be able to exercise so she won’t pack her training gear
- Julie believes it is inevitable she will overeat so she willovereat as she can see no other option
- Julie believes attending conference will be a disaster for achieving her weight loss goal so she will act accordingly.
Can you see how Julie’s thinking is not serving her?
Thinking to keep you on track
What if Julie said to herself, “Okay, I’m going to this conference;
HOW can I continue to stay on track for achieving my ideal weight?”
Now Julie will look for opportunities to stay on track.
Notice she doesn’t have to know the details of how she is going to stay on track yet. She simply needs to believe that it is possible – and of course it IS possible. Some people return home from a week away healthier and leaner than when they left. Focusing on this possibility allows Julie to be curious and explore her options.
Some options that might occur to Julie are that she could:
- Ask for the mini bar in her hotel room to be emptied and fresh fruit made available instead
- Find and book a room in a hotel with a gymnasium / pool / access to a suitable walking or running route
- Book one or more personal training sessions at her hotel’s gym
- Eat a pre-ordered suitable breakfast in her room each morning
- Ask the conference organisers to provide fresh fruit for morning and afternoon tea
- Book a self-catering apartment (instead of a hotel room) and prepare at least some of her own meals and snacks
- Decide to be confident in her ability to eat mindfully and to feel comfortable and satisfied.
If you notice you expect to get off track for your weight loss or fitness goal whilst travelling:
Examine your thoughts and beliefs. Identify exactly what you are saying to yourself – for example: “I always put on weight when I go away” or “I want to have a good time and I can’t if I’m trying to lose weight.”
Assess the validity of these statements and challenge them with questions like:
Is this really true?
Is it true all the time?
Do other people think differently and therefore get a different result?
Now ask: “How can I continue to stay on track for achieving my ideal weight while I am travelling?” Write down all your ideas and notice how you feel now.
Going through this process puts you back into a resourceful state. You return to being positive and confident about being on track for achieving your goal.
Travelling, weekends, unexpected breaks to your weight loss routine are not reasons to fail. They are opportunities to practice your healthy lifestyle behaviours in different situations.