Tips to avoid ‘self-sabotage’ when you’re so close to your goal weight

Picture this… You have been totally committed to your diet plan for weeks or months, you have lost an amazing amount of weight, and the end goal is in sight… Just a few more pounds to go… but you start to cut corners towards the end, perhaps thinking that because you’re so very nearly there, it’s ok to have a little of something else. You’re in danger of ‘self-sabotage’ – undoing all your hard work and not achieving your final goal…

This is a story we commonly hear and read about in the Slim & Save support groups. Unfortunately, even by having a few treats every couple of days, you are in danger of coming out of ketosis, meaning you will not be burning as much fat. It may also leave you feeling tired and irritable, as each time you decide to stop cutting corners and go back on plan, your body has to get back into ketosis.

So, we thought we’d write an article to raise awareness of this issue, and include some (hopefully useful) tips to get you through, keep going and achieve your end goal.

See how far you’ve come – it helps to see your weight loss progress visually. Why not check out your pre weight loss photos, try on some old trousers (and watch them fall off!) or measure your waist or thighs and marvel at how many inches you’ve lost? This can help spur you on to continue towards your goal.

Tomorrow is a new day – just because you’ve had a bad day today, doesn’t mean you’ve undone all your hard work. Start again tomorrow where you left off.

Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint – in every long journey, there are up-hills and downhills, uneven terrain, and surprises. We should expect this – so try not to beat yourself up about it. Take some time out to refocus on what continues to motivate you to lose weight.

Weight loss is never linear – during your weight loss journey, it’s useful to purposely have periods of time where you focus on weight maintenance rather than active weight loss. Why not come off plan for a couple of weeks (following our re-feeding guidelines) and then go back on plan to get to the finish line? Use those re-feeding weeks to re-group and re-find your motivation.

Enlist support – support from family, friends and others on their own weight loss journey can really help you get through. The Slim & Save Facebook group and our customer care ladies can also be a great source of support, encouragement and motivation to keep going.

Content woman at goal weight

Mix things up – if you’re tempted to eat foods that are off-plan, it may be because you’ve got bored of some of your products. What not mix things up a bit and try some new products to keep things interesting? There are also lots of recipe ideas you could try out, to use your products in alternative ways.

Acknowledge feelings of anxiety – identify the causes of your anxiety. Sometimes we start to lose feelings of ‘control’ when things feel out of control in other areas of our lives. Do you naturally experience mood fluctuations? Are you feeling fulfilled in life in terms of carer, relationships etc? Try talking to a close friend or family member about your feelings of anxiety. It can also seem daunting when you’re getting towards the end of a structured diet plan, thinking about the future and how you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss once you come off plan. Try not to worry – there is plenty of support available for you, including our weight maintenance plans which you are welcome to use.

A final note… keep journeying ahead, well done for keeping going – the finish line is in sight!

Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian.

As always, our favourite comment will receive 10 Meal Replacement Bars to enjoy, winner to be chosen on Wednesday 22nd June 2022

11 comments

  1. As a serial dieter I have tried it all.
    Nothing but nothing beats standing in front of that mirror naked.
    Have a good look at yourself from all angles. Like what you see? If not you can change it but only you can do it.
    Go into your wardrobe and choose your favourite outfit that does not fit. Maybe like me it’s never fitted. You’ve bought it thinking I will get into that … well, now it’s time to do it. If you can’t do it by summer you can definitely do it by Christmas. Lockdown is over and Christmas work parties will be on this year so be prepared. Hang that outfit in your room where you can see it. Take your measurements and log them every week, seeing that waist etc come down is so motivating.
    Reward your progress with pamper goods, a new book etc. We need to learn that rewards or condolences should not be food based. There are other ways to reward ourselves.
    If you have a bad day it doesn’t need to be a bad week. Draw a line and get back on it. You haven’t failed you have just stalled.
    Lastly – you are absolutely worth it and don’t let ANYONE put you off. If they say oh you’re slim enough now it will probably be because they have never seen you so slim before. Keep going to get to goal then you need to calorie count to stay there (I didn’t – lesson learned)
    Good luck all you are amazing for even being here ❤️

  2. This is just what I needed to read. I’ve done so well on this journey and definitely need to remind myself of that. We never seem to pat ourselves on the back as much as we should do we?! Life throws curveballs at us and they often derail or sideline achievements. Really if we focus on how far we’ve come rather than how far left to go we should use that strength and focus to stride to the end. I’m reinvigorated today. It’s my new day. 5lb to my goal and a deadline in mind.

  3. Really enjoyed this article. I have self-sabotaged before. I think that being so near to the finish line it’s easy to become complacent. I reckonise myself in what was written from previous attempts. I think the thing that self-sabotage also compounds is the refeeding. I know I got this so wrong before when I did a different VLCD. I think the great thing about this article is that it has made me concentrate on this weakness and helped me realise there are 6 things which will help me not to self-sabotage this time (when I get there!):
    1) Reading this blog
    2) Reading the Beck Solution
    3) Following the refeeding programme properly
    4) Making a conscious choice…will eating this take me forwards? or backwards?
    5) Use the SnS meal planner…be honest – it’s like an extra conscience
    6) Use the SnS Facebook group….admin is super auick to comment and give support and the group is really helpful and supportive.

  4. This is such a great post and one I really needed to read right now. I still have a way to go but I’m sure everyone’s seen the words “In 4 weeks you’ll notice the change… 8 weeks your friends and then 12 weeks for the rest of the world” … I’m at that 12 week stage where everyone is really noticing the change and It feels great, but I’ve recently been thinking oh one cheat day here and there won’t hurt, I’ll never go back, but before you know it the lbs either don’t change the gain starts to add up! I’m being my own worst enemy and self sabotaging!! This post was just what I needed to refocus and think of the long term goal and bigger picture! 🙂

  5. Great blog that has totally made me feel ‘normal’ in my journey. I find I get complacent and self-sabotage after I have had a good weight loss result.
    The key points for me are tomorrow’s another day so if I’ve had a bad day/days just to carry on and not beat myself up about it as its not a failure. Life is full of ups and downs but remembering why I want to loose weight and how good Ill look and feel at the end, will help me refocus.
    It also helps me this time that my husband is also taking control of his weight and following his own weightloss regime, so we arent encouraging each other to ‘cheat’.
    Thank you.

  6. I’ve found having an end of day review (in my head) thank myself for the progress I’ve made and congratulate myself for sticking with it. Plan my next day or make a focus date for the future and future me 😍
    If I’m struggling for example thinking we’ll OK its ‘x’ amount week’s until… I’ll stick with it solid until then and then review how I feel about my journey. Guaranteed I’ve reviewed and made another future date.
    I’ve also changed my view on ‘treats’ a treat is a foot spar, a long walk in my favourite place’s with feel good tunes on (music can be a powerful tool in excerising, it lifts your mood and can be inspiring ) sticking to a plan is a treat, self improvement and health is a treat.
    Your own imagination can be a big inspiration, imagine how well you’ve done and the shock and admiration of friends /family and even total stranger’s. The power of seeing an ex and the oh look what I missed out on.
    We’re taking steps every minute of every day to be the best version of our selves. How amazing are we ❤️

  7. I am now slim enough to buy non plus size clothing but I still need to lose weight to get to a healthier BMI. It would be so easy to think “I’ve lost enough now so can go back to eating the way I did before.” The problem with that thinking is it’s why I got overweight in the first place.

    I’m so close to my goal weight and I have to keep reminding myself that even my favourite food never tastes as good as how I feel now I’m slimmer. I feel good, I look better and my health has improved. Sabotaging myself isn’t worth losing that sense of achievement. I like being proud of me!

  8. This blog could not have come at a better time for me! Iv found myself in a cycle where im so close to the end goal (2 stones) and i know if i stick to the diet i will be there in 2 months time but i just end up having a sneaky snack or meal and just thinking its okay when i know its not! I will definitely be taking these tips on board!

  9. What an excellent Blog. My personal experience is that it doesn’t just apply to those only a few lbs away from Goal. Confession Time – I have done this diet 3 times. First time I lost almost 2 stones and kept it off for the next 2+ years, but I still had a lot more to lose when I stopped. But First and Second times I found it sooo easy, at any point in the weight-loss journey, especially once I started losing a number of pounds, to persuade myself, that a little corner cutting ‘won’t hurt’. Well I guess I still lost weight, but sometimes it was quite slow. This time around I have stuck absolutely 100% to being on plan. No corner-cutting anywhere – and the weight, so far is coming off so much quicker I can’t believe it. Can’t believe I was so stupid previously either!

    Now, having said that I have 2 occasions coming up where I will be going out for a meal and I am also going on holiday very shortly. The comment that ‘Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint’ is a really good one. I think there is a HUGE difference between ‘cutting corners’ and deciding on a SPECIAL Occasion that it is ok to have a single night off as long as you plan it in advance. A big difference between ‘being tempted’ and making a conscious decision that for a special occasion you will eat a meal, enjoy it and not feel guilty. Sure, it will slow your weight loss for a few days, but as long as you only allow it to be a ‘one-off’ you choose what you have to eat very carefully if you can, and go straight back onto the plan, for me, at least, it helps my Mental Health and my positive attitude to the diet. When I’m in ‘sprint’ mode I turn down invitations with friends or family because I don’t want to come off plan (and people often try to get you to have something off it) but there is a limit how long you can do that without it affecting the way you feel about the diet. Looking at it as a Marathon rather than a sprint is extremely helpful.

    On holiday I am intending to stick mostly to plan – but there will still be a few occasions when we will eat out, and I am looking to Maintain, rather than lose more weight, so I am still motivated to watch what I am eating while away

    1. If you stumble when you’re walking, you may laugh at yourself, say to yourself ‘pick your feet up’ and you walk on with renewed energy. I have stumbled, and this article reminded me to afford myself this same level of kindness, pick it up again and keep going with renewed energy and reinforced goals. I’m doing this to make sure I enter the next decades of life with vigour.

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