How to get back on track with weight loss

I ran into a friend who happens to be a Weight Watchers member the other day while buying groceries.


“Don’t look in my cart,” she wailed, arms trying to conceal its contents. “I just can’t get back on track.”

Okay, I agreed, if you promise you will look in mine.”

She gave me that, “I know what you’re trying to do look,” which was saying, “you want me to feel guilty when I see you will the perfect food in your cart.”

When she peered into my cart she look confused. What’s Ben and Jerry, and a big ol’ pot roast, and a bag or Oreos and a bag of Cape Cod chips doing in the Weight Watchers lady’s cart. Where is the kale, and the gluten-free bread, the frozen diet entrees and the tofu?


I tell you where they are. They are right on the shelf where they belong and you will never see them in my grocery cart. I’ve made peace with ice cream and chips and cookies. I learned that I enjoy them and that I can enjoy them in balance and moderation and without gaining weight.

My friend wrongly assumed what was in my cart. When she saw what was really in there, she looked at me and said, “Oh, I get it. Now that you’re on maintenance you can have those things.”

I explained to her that there would be no maintenance for me if I hadn’t learned how to handle eating what I wanted while losing weight. It took a couple of lapses and plenty of binges before I got control over eating what I thought were my “red light foods.”

I took control of these “trigger foods” by going off track and getting back on track. I discovered that when I tried to cut foods I enjoy out of my life, I inevitably find myself getting carried away when eating them. I needed to eat them as part of my diet, not as an escape from it. I needed to get back to basics to learn how to fit them in.

If you feel this way about what you're eating while losing weight, you aren't following a plan that is going to allow you to be successful

If you feel this way about what you’re eating while losing weight, you aren’t following a plan that is going to allow you to be successful

We took a look in her cart. It had pretty much the same food in it that I had in mine although produce was conspicuously absent in hers. The difference was she saw the food in her cart as “cheat food” and I saw the food in my cart as “program food.” Getting back on track was less about eating different food and more about making your food choices fit into your plan.

Eating treats while losing weight is an important strategy for sticking with the program. This isn't cheating when you count and track it.

Eating treats while losing weight is an important strategy for sticking with the program. This isn’t cheating when you count and track it.

Going back to basics is the way to do that.

  • Read labels to get the necessary nutrition facts.
  • Figure out how to count what you want to eat on your plan.
  • See what adjustments you’ll need to make to fit a treat or indulgence into your day.
  • Plan meals and snacks
  • Make a list
  • Track your food
  • Track your physical activity

Don’t stumble on what’s behind you

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.