This topic came up in my reply to Melody who's lost 45 lbs in her first 5 weeks on Low Carb and I decided it might be helpful to others as well so I'm going to share it. Congrats Melody! You're off to a great start!!!
As we all know this is a long process and a life time change to improve your health and way of life. To change the way you think about food and not to comfort or reward yourself with food. But it's also important to make sure to reward yourself along the way when you can.
Try get a new pair of workout pants, or a new flattering wrap top that helps you start to see your progress more. Maybe a new yoga mat for doing Palates if you need something low impact and you aren't up for the gym yet. Even go see a movie, but skip the snack counter... eat lunch or dinner before the movie. Get a mani/pedi, have a spa day at home with a friend. Maybe get some new pj's or new undies. Make sure that you at least have one properly fitting outfit so you feel good going places.
I went from a size 56 dress, 8x/9x men's shirt with a 91" waist to a size 18/20 dress, 1x/2x tops so I've had to replace my entire wardrobe several times along the way. It sucked spending the money on clothes, but it felt so good to wear an outfit that fit me correctly. It's also important to get rid of your clothes when they become way too big, or get out the sewing machine and alter them. Because if you keep the bigger baggy clothes around and you start gaining weight you won't realize it in your clothes if everything you have is baggy or stretchy.
I've been wearing nothing but dresses with leggings and boots to work all winter (stretchy clothes). My office was passing around germs and I was busy, never home, not sleeping enough, not drinking enough water and I got a sinus infection that was upsetting my tummy for 3 weeks and then I had the flu that lingered for 4 weeks and lots of extra stress from work. I've still been doing low carb, but not as low as I normally do and I started drinking more Sprite Zero and Fresca trying to settle my tummy and I think it made me feel worse and upset my tummy more from the added sweeteners in the long run.
The scale gradually went up a bit... but I wasn't too worried because I still looked the same and my clothes still fit me. Then Friday night I went to go put on my "Skinny" jeans that used to fit comfortably and they wouldn't button out of the dryer. I realized that I had not worn them in two months. I sighed and put on my relaxed fit jeans and they fit me snugly... That's my sign that I have to go back to induction level carbs (20 or less per day) instead of having off days of 30-40 carbs per day like I have been doing a lot the past couple of months.
The gradual increases can sure add up in time if you gain 10 lbs one month and 10 lbs another month, you have to catch it before it gets out of hand. I know it's not added muscle weight because I haven't been training hard lately, it's from eating too many carbs for my system. With my PCOS I have to stay at 20 or less per day to maintain my weight and to feel my best. I haven't been working out because the numbness has gotten worse due to excess skin cutting off circulation and pinching my nerve. I'll post more about that later though.
I had increased portions because I was working over time and I would often be at work until 6:30 or 7pm so I started getting bigger salads for lunch to compensate for a later dinner. My salads had a lot of turkey, ham or chicken on them from the work salad bar so I know there was hidden carbs there even though I brought my own dressing. I'd eat half the salad at 1pm, the other half at 4/5pm and then dinner around 8/9pm. But it ended up adding an extra meal to my day instead of it just being a snack. Then some days I'd say screw it, my tummy was already upset so I'd grab a piece of pizza with my salad too. I normally avoided the carbs because they upset my tummy, but it was easier to give in to them when my tummy was already upset.
I'm sharing this with you guys to let you know that even someone like me who's maintained the loss for over 2 years still has to watch it and that we can all have little setbacks, we all have to be careful. We just have to get back on it and watch the carbs and portion sizes to keep yourself in check. Also make sure to drink enough water too and try to get enough sleep... I struggle with the sleep part because I'm always busy with something or my mind is wanting to go go go instead of resting.
Remember the important part is to never give up on yourself, ever! You can do it, because you are worth it!