The 4 Signs You’re About to Gain Weight
Most people notice excess weight when they’ve already gained it. But there are 4 signs you’re about to gain weight and when you know these, you can avoid the gain in the first place!
As you settle into your work/life routine for the year, are you noticing you’re feeling more disorganised and overwhelmed, starting to crave sugar, eating too-big portions and that you’re eating when you’re not even hungry?
For most people, these are the four signs that you are at a tipping point which usually signals a downward spiral – and that you’re about to gain weight.
That feels really frustrating for a smart, capable person like you, because you know what to do, you just aren’t sure how to get out of this annoying old cycle.
How the Cycle Starts
This cycle typically starts with what I call, ‘just’-ification.
You start saying to yourself:
“I’ll just have one drink.”
“I’ll just eat the kids’ pizza crust so it’s not wasted.”
“I’ll just have a treat now (because I’ve earned it) and THEN I’ll start.”
“I have a big weekend planned so I’ll just wait until that’s done and I’ll start Monday.”
“I just need to work out a plan.”
“I just need to get all this work out of the way.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I catch myself doing this sometimes, and I know exactly what it means.
It means that you are giving yourself permission to shift your focus.
It means you are putting off your commitment to change and delaying taking action that you want to take.
Most of us have a lot going on, many hats to wear and balls to juggle, and this often shifts your focus away from yourself.
When you lose focus, those little ‘just’-ifications creep in.
These ‘just-ifications’ are the first tipping point into weight gain because these things you are saying to yourself dictate how you feel and what action you take next.
The feeling is ‘justified’.
The action you take is the glass of wine, the one more biscuit, the putting off planning and the kids’ pizza crust.
The next thing that happens is that those four signs you’re about to gain weight start to appear.
The 4 Signs You’re About to Gain Weight
As you can see, the 4 signs you’re about to gain weight are really just the consequences of the actions you’ve been taking.
You’ve settled into your work/life routine for the year, and those ‘just-ifications’ mean your commitment to planning, shopping, eating well, maintaining boundaries around food and alcohol and portion sizes starts to lapse.
With that lapse comes hormonal imbalance – cortisol, insulin and leptin – which drives weight gain.
The 4 signs you’re about to gain weight are direct signs that your hormone levels are out of whack as a consequence of those ‘just-ifications’.
Let’s see how it works.
1. You Feel More Disorganised and Overwhelmed
You know that when you feel in control, you are organised and on top of everything and it feels great.
But when that focus and control lapse, you decide not to plan “just this week”, or “just” wait until after the weekend, get started later, not meal prep or delay shopping or “just” get through the social engagements.
Telling yourself these things means you don’t have a plan. But you still have a LOT going on in your life.
Therefore, you start feeling disorganised.
You also start feeling overwhelmed.
How does that affect your eating and drinking and exercise?
Your body goes into fight or flight mode, your stress hormone levels increase and you crave all the things that are bad for you in excess.
Sugar. Carbs. Alcohol. Coffee. Fatty foods. Crunchy/fatty foods.
In my clients it often shows up as habits like this:
- eating convenience foods
- eating lots of high carb, low-GI foods
- grabbing a sugary treat for energy
- drinking a glass of wine to feel better
- eating chocolate to feel better
- missing meals then feeling ravenous and overeating
- ‘too busy’ to cook
- ‘too busy’ to exercise
These unhelpful habits are all signs that you’re about to gain weight.
What you can do to avoid all this is commit to having a set day each week where you spend 30 minutes setting your plans for the week ahead.
Yes, it’s that simple. Make it not negotiable and it will work.
If you only did this ONE thing, it would massively diminish the other three signs below, and you would be able to maintain or even lose weight.
2. Craving sugar
You know you can manage sugar and avoid it when you’re focused.
But when you feel busy, stressed or overwhelmed, or when you don’t eat properly you start to crave sugar.
Part of this is because of an increase in your stress hormones that drive cravings for sugar and other things.
Also, when you get wired then crash and get tired, you want sugar for energy.
If your blood sugar is out of balance due to poor food choices, you will crave sugar.
And if your body is not fat adapted and able to use it’s own fat stores for fuel, then when you miss a meal, you will likely crave sugar.
Lastly on this, sugar creates it’s own downward spiral. Eat excess sugar in any form, and you’ll feel bloated and tired….then looking for a pick me up (more sugar!) or some comfort.
We haven’t touched the emotional side of things here, but they are relevant too – like comfort eating.
There is also what you tell yourself – the mental rules you reinforce with your own self-talk – like “I need sugar for a pick me up.” Or, “I really want that chocolate.”
Tell yourself often enough and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To cut out sugar cravings, you need to commit to a protocol, for example intermittent fasting and clean eating, that will help your body smash the hormonal cycle before it leads to weight gain.
Make it not negotiable and it will work.
This takes more focus and commitment and time to overcome than the other three signs.
But the effects are dramatic, amazing and worth it.
Nail your sugar cravings and curb the habit, and you will maintain or lose weight.
3. Eating too-big portions (or too much food)
You know that it’s easy to manage portion size when you’re focused.
But when you’re disorganised, feeling tired, or going out socially, or when the food is DELICIOUS, it’s easy to slip in the leftovers, treats, and other justifications.
The portion sizes go up, or you simply eat too much overall.
Then you notice right away because you feel overfed, or even sick, or just stop feeling hungry.
You resolve never to do it again, or to get it sorted out.
These are sure signs that you’re about to gain weight.
What can you do?
Decide what you’ll eat, be mindful of temptation situations, and be clear on what you will eat, how much you will eat and how often you will eat.
These mental boundaries are trickier to manage than the other signs because there are many of them, they are unconscious, yet they require your focus and attention.
That can be hard in a busy world that’s full of distraction and temptation.
Reminders, food diaries, meal plans, alarms, set schedules to plan (see #1) and accountability buddies come in here and can be very helpful – with these cues and tools, you need less reliance on your own focus and brain.
Professional coaching often does wonders in this area to help you regain your motivation, focus and mental discipline.
If you can nail this one, you are well on the way to losing weight and keeping it off.
Eating when not hungry
When you’re focused it’s easy to stick to meal times and not snack.
But if you find yourself getting busy, stressed, bored or ‘stuck’ with a problem you can’t solve, it’s easy to turn to the cupboard and snack to relieve the frustration, break the tension or avoid the problem.
We humans are great at avoiding pain.
Eating when not hungry means ignoring your body’s natural signals or not even being aware of them.
But like point #3, this is another version of eating more than you need which of course is one of the signs that you’re about to gain weight.
This one is relatively simple to resolve. Catch yourself in the act, and do something else instead, or have a big glass of water.
Do that, and you will most likely maintain or lose weight.
What do you do now?
I suggest tackling these steps one at a time, starting with the easiest and most relevant one for you.
Do it consistently for 4 – 5 weeks.
Then start on the next easiest one.
To get it right, you will need to make a commitment to yourself and to the task at hand.
But just to be clear – it’s totally ok if you don’t want to commit and make a change.
If you are happy as you are, then you can keep things as they are.
But if you DO want to commit and make change, follow this two-step process:
- JUST need to commit to something and then
- JUST to do it.
If you need help right now, I would like to offer you some free support by walking you through some surprising facts about losing weight.
We will be running a FREE webinar called I’m Smart and Capable, So Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
It’s 8 May 2018 and we have 100 places available.
Once we’re full, we’re full.
We will also be launching a monthly membership for people who need help to overcome mindset issues and fears so they can be consistent with clean eating and becoming fat adapted.
If you want to join the waiting list for the membership, click here.
The membership will focus on a different topic each month and help you get a handle on the common obstacles to consistent habits, so you can:
- Get your portions right
- Quit all or nothing thinking
- Create more time and slow down
- Beat overwhelm and feel calm
- Build consistent mental and physical energy
- Set and achieve goals more easily
- Feel 100% organised and in control
- Create unbeatable motivation on-demand
- Eat regular meals, consistently
- Get enough sleep
- Eat what your body needs
- Eat mindfully, and
- Take full responsibility for yourself and your health
The membership will be delivered as a monthly self-coaching workbook, fortnightly live webinars and bonus resources for members, plus an opportunity for free 10-minute coaching sessions with any of our coaches.
We will be launching the membership on 15 May but we’re taking a waiting list now – click here to join the waiting list.
Chief Inspiration Coach
I’m a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.
Join our FREE webinar on 8 May, at 7pm Sydney Time
I’m Smart and Capable – Why Can’t I Lose Weight?