Updated: September 18, 2012

Losing weight (or keeping it off) is never a walk in the park - even when you're well informed and highly motivated, sometimes, you just slip up. It happens to the best of us. Here are three of the top hurdles I hear about from my clients and tips for tackling them:

Hurdle # 1: Eating extra on the weekends

To me, weekends can feel like mini vacations (no alarm clock, no need to check my Blackberry every two minutes…). But that carefree feeling, combined with unstructured days and more "play time" can definitely lead to extra noshing if you're not careful. Instead of an anything goes philosophy, adopt a one splurge a day rule. Each Saturday and Sunday, choose just one meal or snack to indulge in, like popcorn at the movies, OR chocolate peanut butter bliss for dessert after a light dinner out. Budgeting in a truly worthwhile treat can help you enjoy the special feeling the weekend brings while staying on track at your remaining meals.

Hurdle #2: The Costco effect!

These days, we're all looking to save a buck or two, but, one study found that when snacks are "stockpiled" the average daily intake jumps by a whopping 92%. In other words, even if you get more for your money, you'll probably end up eating twice as much - not such a good deal. But you don't have to cancel your price club membership. Just try to keep an eye on how fast you're going through your goods. Keep a food journal like this one or when you get your groceries home, tape a sticky note on your food packages and write in the date of purchase so you can track your rate of consumption. If you have trouble slowing down, keep buying non-food items and staples in bulk (frozen veggies, a 24 roll pack of toilet paper...) and purchase the high risk stuff in smaller quantities.

Hurdle #3: A food-focused social calendar

Are you in a food as entertainment rut? If your primary ways of spending time with friends, family and your significant other include going out to dinner, munching on pizza while watching DVDs or sipping fancy lattes, your weight loss plan may be in serious jeopardy. Start thinking about ways to transform it. Start a healthy cookbook club/potluck club and make your leisure time more active. Instead of going to a film you're not dying to see, rent some ice skates, go to an "old school" roller rink, take a dance class or find a pick your own fruit farm! Mixing it up can not only help you avoid unwanted extra calories, it can be an awesome way to breathe some new life into your social agenda.

What other hurdles to do face or which ones have you overcome and how? Please share!


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