The early days of a diet can often feel like the early days of dating. Our excitement is high and we’re super aware of our decisions throughout the day. The early days of dieting are filled with accurately weighing and measuring our foods, thoughtful reflections during daily logs to coaches, and exciting positive changes to our weight. But, just like dating, diets lose their shiny newness, and soon it can feel redundant and taxing. Some dieters will even find themselves stopping all of their practiced habits resulting in negative consequences.
Diet burnout is incredibly common amongst all weight loss plans. It’s easy to see why. After the initial excitement wears off, diets can tend to feel restrictive, slow, and people may decide to quit rather than address the burnout to overcome it.
If you have ever reached a point during a diet where you had no motivation to keep working, you most likely have experienced diet burnout. So we asked Stronger U coaches: how do you recommend overcoming burnout to your members? Is there a cure-all solution? As usual, our Stronger U coaches delivered easy-to-apply advice that will help overcome burnout obstacles.
Are You Heading Towards Burnout?
There are two types of burnout that our members experience. The obvious burnout and the not-so-obvious burnout (these are highly technical terms, wouldn’t you agree?). The obvious burnout is the type that a member can recognize. They are no longer feeling motivated and slowly have gone back to their old habits. They have seen the scale creep back up and while they might know they need to get back to tracking, they don’t want to.
The not-so-obvious burnout is when members are still tracking, but they’ve detached from their journey. They might be logging their food, but they aren’t weighing it, opting for an eyeball measurement. They are filling out their daily logs, but they aren’t providing detail for coaches to help. Their mood is no longer chipper, but has been replaced with complacency. In short, these members are checking a box.
We have news for you (and it’s really good news). Everybody experiences burnout. Isn’t that great? You’re not alone and you’re not a failure, because you’re feeling burned out. In fact, because you’re reading this resource, you’re already taking steps in the right direction to take care of your burnout without giving up your hard work up to this point. We’re going to tackle the top tips for overcoming burnout, but in case you’re still not sure that you’re burned out, here is a quick list of some key indicators that you’re heading headfirst into burn out territory:
- You are missing macro targets, calories, or check-ins.
- You are filling out check-ins and daily logs, but not communicating to your coach. You might be writing “good” under your weekly review (when you used to write essays about everything that happened).
- Your mood about tracking has declined. It’s starting to feel like a chore.
Here’s What You Can Do to Help
Now that we’ve covered what burnout looks like, you must be wondering “what can I do to get out of this funk!?”. Good news! Stronger U coaches compiled a list of the things that you can do to help beat your burnout and get back on track.
The first step in overcoming diet burnout is to acknowledge that you’re experiencing it! By stopping and saying, “I think I’m burned out”, you can identify what you’re experiencing and create a plan forward. If you’re in a Stronger U session with a coach, then this would be a fantastic message to send to your coach, so they can work with you to develop a plan.
If you’re not in an active session with a coach, here are some things that you can do to get back on track with your goals:
Build in a Break
Commit to taking a break from tracking your macros for a week (or even a day). Focus on your calories or allow yourself the break from all tracking.
Step back and redo your initial Stronger U intake form. Thoughtfully consider the questions and figure out if your goals have changed. Are you more focused on getting stronger now? Or are you wanting to lose a few more pounds? Reevaluating your goals will help you get re-energized for moving forward.
You might also consider changing your tracking style for a time. This could mean going into short-term maintenance. Recently, in our exclusive Facebook Community, Stronger U member Samiksha G. explained how a maintenance break during the summer helped her:
“I just wanted to share that the tools we are given work as long as we apply them and doing coached maintenance for the summer was one of my best decisions – I enjoyed the entire summer, learned so much about nutrition and my body, and I’m fueled and ready to lose a little more weight before the holidays. My biggest takeaway for maintenance life has been: I can eat anything but not always everything at the same time”.
Maintenance should be used as a tool, even during weight loss, especially if you are concerned that you are experiencing diet burnout.
The final thing that you can do to overcome diet burnout is to create new and exciting ways to challenge yourself with your current tracking goals. Some examples of challenges could include:
- Setting a specific day of the week where you only get your carbs from fruits and veggies.
- Creating a fiber requirement.
- Challenging yourself to hit exercise goals (or try new exercises to reignite your interest in working out).
- Try new foods and recipes.
- Setting a sleep target.
- And more!
When you are experiencing diet burnout, it can feel isolating. You might be tempted to not tell somebody that you’re feeling burned out, but you do not have to navigate it alone. Stronger U coaches are invested in your success and want to help. If you are feeling burned out, talk to your family, the Stronger U Facebook community, and your coach to create a plan that will get you back on track.