“Two Steps Forward One Step Back” What to do when you have a bad weight loss week

One of my blog and Lose Weight By Eating Facebook Page followers asked me to talk about the struggles I had during my weight loss journey. I responded with an “I’ll do my best” and within 5 minutes to my surprise it all came flooding back! So everyone say thank you to Jennifer L. for her great idea, we will have many installments on weight loss struggles, see below for more information.

It’s totally normal to have 2 steps forward and 1 step back, it’s difficult to do but you have to keep your eye on the finish line. My goal here is to show you how to overcome bad weeks and keep working towards your goal.

Work on these 3 goals:

1. Have a Goal Weight

2. Have a Goal Date

3. Keep a log of your Weight Loss


You need to know where you are driving before you get in a car, right? So you need to know what your goal weight is. If you have been thin before you might already have a goal weight, but if you have been heavy your entire life it can be challenging.  In the case of not knowing what you want to weigh look on-line! Take me for instance, I look up something like ” How much should a 5′ 3″ woman weight?” I get a link for WikiAnswers, a site I know is reputable and it says:

“Any weight between 105 and 140 pounds would keep an average woman of 5’3″ within the desired BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9. An ideal weight would likely be around 120.”

So I make a reasonable goal of 125, right in the middle. Done, easy right? You can set a goal like this, right?

2. HAVE A GOAL DATE-Lose Weight by Eating

So, you are in the car and you know where you are going, but you still  need to know what time to get there don’t you? You may have a vacation or a family reunion coming up, you might be a new bride and want to lose weight before the big day. Or you might just want to lose 60 lbs in 6 months. Set a goal date and you can then figure out how much you can lose per month, then week and so on.

So, for instance, you want to lose 60 lbs in 6 months? That is 10 lbs per month and only 2.5 lbs per week!! Sounds so much more reasonable and easy when it is just a little 2.5 right? Now you have a small goal to work at and not a huge one that seams unattainable.

Find a date of completion, this is very important. Without it it’s like running a race without a finish line.


At a certain point I started keeping a log, it was the smartest thing I ever did! I kept it on the wall above my scale. My weight loss was all over the map, but I knew my goal weight and my goal date so I knew how much I needed to lose per week and per month. So if a month of weight loss looked like this I wouldn’t sweat a bad week, I could get through it.

Week 1: lost 8 lbs

Week 2: gained +1 lbs

Week 3: lost 4 lbs

Week 4: lost 1 lbs

In the end I still lost 12 lbs in one month! That is amazing! 12 lbs in one month is 144 in a year!

Now, being able to look at the log on a bad week I would say to myself  “This happened last month and next week I will have a big loss, so I am not gonna let it get to me”, this helped me get through weeks when I gained or didn’t lose weight. It was nothing fancy, just a log with weeks and a big line showing where my goal date was, kinda like the simple example above.

Just keep a log, so that on a hard week you can look back and see how far you have come, and see that you have had bad weeks but good weeks followed them.

It’s About Averages

It reminds me of my years in sales, we always looked at an 8 or 10 week average. Say you sell a lot of units week 1, then have a couple returns week 2, your overall sales in week 2 will be lower because of returns. This makes a weekly and even monthly total of sales irrelevant, the average was always what we had in mind as sales leaders.

On the Lose Weight By Eating Facebook page I name a Weight Loss Superstar each week, in 2 months a woman by the name of Krista has been the winner twice and almost (lost by I think .5 lbs) 3 times! She kills it every week on the scale and in the last 2 months has lost almost 30 lbs, but this week she gained. She posted an oh so sad comment but I reminded her that she will probably lose more weight than everyone else next week. Just keep your eye on the prize babe! She is on a weight loss marathon and needs to be able to see how far she has come on weeks like this. Krista is an ideal person to keep a log, she has one bad week every month but inevitably loses an obscene amount of weight the following week.

A special shout out to all my Weight Loss Superstars this week:

Charlene, Cindy, Davelynn, Amber, Laurie, Jules, Jamie, Brandy, Jennifer, Diana, Sarah, Eugene and Debora. You all lost a combined total of 47 lbs this week!

I’m so proud of all of you!

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16 thoughts on ““Two Steps Forward One Step Back” What to do when you have a bad weight loss week”

  1. I started journaling day 3 on my new path and I’ve found myself looking back to see what was going on, what I was eating, how much I drank. I also do MyFitnessPal and look back on that as well, they have pie charts, graphs, all also helpful. I have come away from reading the posts above with a more positive outcome. Feb hasn’t been as successful as January, but that’s just making me want to push more the rest of the month. I’m hoping Katherine posts her 16 lb loss week with what she did, just in case I could incorporate some of that in my week!

  2. I love this post! Having tried unsuccessfully over the years to lose anything over 15 lbs I’m starting to why I seem to lose my way…it always happens around the 3 week mark which is the bad week! I’m so happy right now I could cry. Hearing about THIS side of weight loss is so important. Learning that others lose in chunks or like Audrey with a bad week followed by awesomeness helps me to understand HOW weight loss works. THANK YOU! πŸ˜‰

  3. I found your blog on Pinterest last month, and immediately wanted to start eating better. Then life got hectic, so I sort of forgot. It’s been pinned a lot lately again on Pinterest, and I have now been following your tips for a week. I’ve lost 6lbs since 9/1/12. My ultimate weight loss goal is 60lbs. However I made smaller goals along the way. My husband and I are going to Hawaii at the end of November. So, my first goal was to lose 30lbs by then (equalling 10lbs per Month). Then hopefully lose another 30lbs the next 3 months right after turning 30 in Feb. your blog has helped me so much. Thank you! Only have a few more lbs to lose the rest of Sept to meet my 10lb goal this month! Wish me luck!!!

  4. Thank you for sharing….doing this for me…and all the others who follow you. I really appreciate you being my cheerleader!

  5. I definitely see what you’re saying, I’m just way to hard on myself sometimes, I guess πŸ˜‰

    Everyone is different πŸ˜€

    Speaking of the taking averages instead of focusing on the bad weeks… they’re lucky they’re not me. I lose weight in chunks (which is apparently pretty common) where instead of losing like 1lb (or 2)per week, I’ll just lose 4 pounds (or 8 etc) overnight once a month. Frustrating, but at least I can see the pattern now.

  6. You often like and comment on my posts positively agreeing with me, I am glad to see that when you don’t agree you still let me know πŸ™‚

    I wrote this post for a handful of my FaceBook followers who have been having BIG weight loss numbers followed by weeks with zero weight loss.

    The idea is to be able to make a goal. For Instance: In 6 months I want to lose 60 lbs so that is 10 lbs per month and only 2.5 lbs per week. Then to keep a log so that they can take an average, so that on a bad week they can see it is not really bad, just part of a pattern.

    The weight loss goal date is more of a piece of a equation.

    I do agree with you on the pressure factor, but for some people it is the pressure of failing that makes them work differently.


  7. I have to politely disagree with your ‘set a goal date’ tip. I’ve done that, and I’ve failed to meet them… which made me feel like crap and hate myself more than usual. I do much better without the pressure of having dates. I’ve lost 80lbs focusing on other stuff besides how much weight I lose by which date, and it’s so much less stressful than when I was focusing on the number on the scale and deadlines.

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