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I Re-Gained 20 Pounds, Now What?

A common struggle when making a lifestyle change that requires diet and exercise alteration is, staying the course. I can’t even list the amount of times I’ve been doing great, just to have something happen to sabotage my progress. Whether it be an emotional devastation, time crunch, travel, or family parties– it felt like I was working so hard just to have one or two slip ups that resulted in, seemingly, all my progress being erased.

But… that was flawed thinking. I’ll tell you why. 

I Re-Gained 20 Pounds, Now What?

This is going to be a series of several blog posts that detail how I was able to stay the course and successfully lose 125 pounds naturally in the course of a year. More than that, this first post is going to be about how to get back on track once you’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon. 

Look, first things first. No one is perfect 100% all of the time. There will be months of the year that you look and feel the best you’ve ever looked and felt and there will be months where you’ve eaten too much cake and had too many glasses of Stella Red. It’s called balance. Accept it. The little devil on your shoulder that’s telling you you need to be all in or not in at all is a clever little liar. 

The truth is that eating well is a lot easier then we make it out to be. You don’t need a book (don’t tell my publisher I said that, lol), you don’t need a calorie app, you don’t need to work out five days a week. Just eat real food from the earth, in modest portions sizes, and YOU. ARE. GOLDEN. 

My PT (that stands for personal trainer, yes, I have one of those because I have no ever loving clue what I’m doing in the gym.) always tells me to be the turtle. Meaning, be the one who is slow and steady to win the race. That rabbit that you’re trying to be? Yeah, cut that out. You’re not a rabbit, you’re a turtle. Pick one thing to focus on and smash the heck out of it. Who cares how slow you go if at the end you’re standing at the finish line?

If you’re always falling off of the wagon, it’s because you need to slow down. Make this lifestyle something that you can sustain forever. If the way you’re eating induces your anxiety, it’s not good for you bro! Let me tell you a secret: now that I’m on the other side of weight loss and in maintenance, my eating has to be exactly the same as it was when I was losing in order for me to maintain my weight loss. Drink a bottle of wine, have some Mickey D’s french fries, eat pizza at 2am, and I gain 7 pounds overnight. That’s no exaggeration. 

In in the last month, I gained 17 delicious pounds of travel, friend-cation, and business trip weight. I’m not even mad about it because weight gain does not mean you’ve fallen off the wagon. 

I Re-Gained 20 Pounds, Now What? instantloss.com

I’m going to repeat that for the person in the back, WEIGHT GAIN DOES NOT MEAN YOU’VE FALLEN OFF THE WAGON! It means that you’re doing an awesome job at living life. Our bodies were made to gain weight, lose it, to grow babies and birth them, stretch, wrinkle, freckle, and scar. They’re amazingly resilient things. And here’s another big ole secret… I am not 135 pounds 365 days a year. My weight fluctuates between 135 and 155 depending on what I’m doing at the time. 

When I’m at my home base and I have time to go to the gym and cook the way I like to, I hover between 135-140.

When I’m traveling, vacationing, or staying with friends, I usually range between 140-155. Those extra pounds are life pounds. Late night pizza with friends, Sunday morning mimosas, birthday cake, etc. Those extra pounds are unforgettable trips, moments, and memories honoring and celebrating life. 

It’s so important to let those moments have their moments. Accept that weight gain is part of life and resolve to go back to normal when you get back to home base. Now, I’m not saying you should go wild and eat/drink everything in sight. Be mindful, you know your body best. All I’m trying to say is, don’t let the small stuff make such a huge impact, that it derails you completely from where you’re going.

On Monday morning (2/25/19), I was 152.2 pounds after a marvelous, unforgettable week with some of my best friends in the world. We drank and ate and lived so hard last week, it was marvelous. On Monday, I wasn’t shocked, this is what my body does naturally anytime I’m not eating the way I do at home. I was tempted to let the indulgence live on. The sugar dragon was roaring and my heart yearned for melty glutenous pizza. But I’ve learned on this journey to let those moments be the wonderful moments they were meant to be and get back to business as usual Monday morning. 

I know that it’s not easy. It requires you to deny yourself a bit, it can be incredibly disappointing to see the scale take a huge leap up, but it’s not just you. It’s that way for all of us. 

Yesterday, I was intentional about being the turtle. Instead of going crazy hardcore at the gym, I got in a light 45 minute weight lifting workout so that I’d have energy to go back today. Because I didn’t go all out, I knew I’d not only have the energy but I’d also actually want to go back the next day. You have to make it fun and keep it light and consistent. 

For lunch, I made scrambled eggs with some green beans, a small little salad, and a Suja green juice on the side. Keep it simple. It took me ten minutes.

My snack was a Medjool Date, pitted, with almond butter, and sea salt and some nitrate-free turkey jerky from Costco. 

For dinner, we had chicken thighs and green beans. After dinner, I had a my favorite Reese’s Peanut Butter Milkshake to curb my sweet tooth. I get asked a lot what I do to stop cravings, the answer is, I feed them. If I want a milkshake, I make one, just with healthier ingredients. This is how you make it a sustainable lifestyle because you’re not going to continue doing it if it doesn’t taste or feel good. 

In just one day, I’m down 1.6 pounds! The weight will come off quickly if you go back to your normal routine right away! It might take a couple weeks but those pounds are not true fat, they’re bloat, inflammation, water retention, and sodium. The trick is, getting it off before it turns into fat! 

Do not judge my janky nail polish. 😂That’s not what we’re here for!

If you have lost your motivation, if you fell off the wagon so long ago you can’t even find the tracks anymore, here’s how you’re going to get back on. 

  1. Pick one thing to focus on. I always choose nutrition because that’s most important and it’s the way you’ll see results the fastest. 
  2. Get rid of everything in your house that’s going to be a stumbling block for you. If it’s not in your cupboards, you can’t eat it. 
  3. Find a few healthy recipes that sound delicious and put them on the menu for the week. Take time to do a bit of meal planning. Having a game plan is so important. Make sure you have healthy snack items on hand and  if you are unable to meal prep or make lunches at home, make sure you have a plan for that too. Walmart has single serve organic salads for under $4. Highly recommend. 
  4. Drink water. Aim for at least 100 ounces a day, but if you can drink your body weight in ounces, that’s ideal. 
  5. Resolve in your mind that incorporating a healthier way of eating into your lifestyle does not require motivation or dieting. And read this post, click here, because it’s vastly important. 
  6. Focus on more whole foods, less processed, and smaller portion sizes. I like to use this chart to help, see below. 

So, how bout this… If you’ve been having a difficult time of sticking to this lifestyle change, get back on track with me! For the next couple months, I will be journaling here as I work to lose those pesky 17 pounds before my cousins wedding in April. I’ll also be sharing more in-depth posts on how to get back on track and stay the course. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you won’t miss a post! Click here.

Remember, be the turtle. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t have to try to do everything right this second. Little changes over time add up to BIG results! 

Click here to read my Week 1 progress update!


  1. I really needed to read this today. I’ve been maintaining for 5 years in June, and some months are so much harder than others. It is frustrating to see the scale go up and down, but I’ve had to remind myself that it’s a lifestyle and not to give up. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It’s inspiring and so helpful to those of us struggling to stay on track.

  2. Thank you for this! When I work so hard all week and have a weekend of go go go and eat what I shouldn’t it is so frustrating but we have to remember to get back at it.

  3. I am so thankful you keep it real and also transparent. This gives me so much encouragement if I gain a couple lbs. on the scale. I usually get down and feel discouraged but knowing that all of us have this tendency I need to just push through it….see it as another day and try again!!!

  4. I bought your book & the Instant Pot 4 months ago. I’ve read the book made the shakes which I shockingly admit I like! I have to admit I’m stuck on start it’s always “1 more day” ! So I needed your post today, thank you!

  5. Thanks SO much for your honesty and REAL posts. I am loving your cookbook which I just received in the mail this week! You are such an inspiration!

  6. You must have been reading my mind. 20 lbs is exactly what I put back on, which I lost a year ago. And the reason? Diet…I completely gave up junk food. Loved the way I felt after the weight loss, then started eating a cookie, ice cream here and there, because I thought it’s okay since I lost all that weight. Pound by pound it is all back, and I’m back to eating a dessert every night (I have always exercised, so that remains a constant).
    I need to find a happy medium- it was not realistic to completely give up sweets/junk altogether. The challenge is for me to find “treats” that satisfy that sweet tooth but are healthy and won’t put weight back on me.
    Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. You are such a BEAUTIFUL person inside and out!!! Thank you for honesty on food, weight and life. You GO mama!!!!!!

  8. Thank you for this post. Just what I needed this morning! I like the turtle reminder — it is useful in so many aspects of our lives — not just weight loss.

  9. Brittany,
    How in the world do you do all that you do? I really admire you. With three small children and a household to run also.
    I love your book! I will be 80 years old in May. We are planning a special cruise. You know what that means. Food food and more food. I need to lose 20 #’s By May . Hopefully my eating habits will have improved following your meal plans and I can pick and choose the right healthy foods. In my youth I was always at about 125 #’s . I am afraid that at 190#’s it will be a challenge. But, I plan to tackle this .
    thanks again for a wonderful cook book.
    My regards, KAY

  10. This post made my morning! I have been seeing the scale go up and down 25 pounds for years and everytime I go through a mini depression season. It is extremely hard to deal with those sabotaging emotions when you really need to just get back to concentrating on health. Thank you so much for this post. It truly helps get you back in the right frame of mind.

    1. I also went through a mini depression season during winter. The struggle is real when you family stops saying that you’ve lost so much weight. I hope your journey to good health goes well 🙂

      1. Thank you for your kind words Alice! I know first hand that the journey of losing weight and struggling with depression can difficult at times, just reminder to take everything one day at a time! Wishing you the best of luck on your journey! 🙂

  11. What an excellent article thank you for sharing that. I gained 10 pounds myself feel better about it and able to tackle the weight-loss thanks !

  12. This is an absolutely wonderful and needed post. I hope this will encourage many people to cut themselves some slack and to get back on the wagon. We are too hard on ourselves, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey.

  13. Thank you so much for this! You have said everything I needed to hear today! I plan to follow along with you. I too would like to lose a pesky 16 pounds that I’ve slowly put on since the holiday season. Great reminder that we are in this for life, through the ups and downs, we just need to remember to enjoy the journey! We’ve got this.

  14. This post is GOLD. You hit all the important points. Weight gain happens easily. I remember a friend saying she was looking forward to when her dieting was over, when she lost weight and then “could eat normally again.” As someone who maintains weight loss, I remember thinking, “Do I tell her that it is a daily thing forever, this mindfulness…?” (I didn’t)
    Also, weight gain does not mean continued wt gain. Instead I actually write in my planner my weight, along with , “You know what to do.” I like how your post goes on to give detailed instructions on what to do. Reminds me that I need to make some more of my little date-peanut-butter-almond meal thingies for when I am craving dessert. You GOT this and I am so thankful you are sharing your journey the way you share it. You are doing good work, woman!

  15. Brittany, this post means everything to me today!! It came at exactly the right moment!! I am getting back on track myself. Started working out again, and trying to make good food decisions. I just have to say, I was almost sucked into another complicated meal plan, tracking, IF/low carb/high carb rotation and I was able to “just say no”! LOL! Who has time for all of that?? It has completely ruled my life before and I will not allow it again. Your simple explanations and meal ideas are so good for me, never stop sharing!!

  16. You are still wonderful because so sincere and direct. be proud of yourself, you help so much other people like me, learning trying not to be perfect. thank you

  17. Thank you. I was beating myself up badly for being at 141 today because, like you and everyone else, sometimes you just want to live life! Thank you for sharing your ups and downs and helping me to not be so hard on myself! God bless you

  18. This post was great – thank you so much. I would love to hear more about your intermittent fasting techniques if you are still using that to jumpstart weight loss?

  19. I love your honesty, Brittany! Being willing to share the struggles along with the successes is what makes you so appealing in the Instagram world. What you shared here is so important! So many of us trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle feel like failures if our weight fluctuates up. You have given us the truth—this happens if you are leading a healthy life! Enjoying time with friends and family is part of that lifestyle. It’s so important mentally to have those times! If it is a setback in the scale, don’t get down in the dumps! You’ve shown us it just means you’ve taken a short break and the important thing is to not let the breaks take over! I am so glad to have found you and Instant Loss! You make me feel like I’m normal rather than a failure!

  20. Hello!
    Well after reading this I feel slightly better but I’m currently in it (my binder)and I feel awful!!!
    I passed on family brunch this morning and tonight I have a date that I just want to cancel because I woke up bloated with an additional 3 lbs added to the additional 17lbs I’ve gained in 3 weeks and I can definitely see and feel it! HELP!!! I think I’m just severely backed up and chugged a bunch of water before bed and yet to lose that today.
    So my weight loss journey is similar to yours. I fluctuate between 128lbs to 138lbs (I am 5’6 tall) over the past 1 1/2 years. Now I admit I was a little stressed out with life and got down to 120lbs and friends became concerned. I’d say I’m happiest at 128lbs.
    So I was at my lowest in November 2019 and moved to my parents house to help my dad just over Christmas. Mind you I love food and my parents eat terribly and with the holidays I completely fell off the wagon BIG TIME. I eat very healthy so to go from strict to terrible food everyday for 3 weeks, well my body is in shock and I’m in shock with how I look!!!! I feel huge and like all my hard work has been lost.
    Its been about a month and I went from 130lbs to 150 lbs today,20lbs people!!! I know alot is water retention and lack of moving around but I just need some confirmation and kind words. Do people see what I see? I guess I feel the most depressed today because for the past 2 days I have been eating lighter and been drinking cleansing teas because I’m constipated and bloated yet today I weighed in at my highest, major downer!!! Now normally I love my cheat days which normally are a weekend going out with friends eating too much salt and drinking so I’ll usually gain 8lbs and lose it in 5 days of healthy eating, no biggie. This time it’s harder because my lifestyle is different and so it’s harder to get back into routine.
    So my plan (today is Saturday) get back on track Monday and just not look at the scale for a week of clean eating. Is this a good plan? God I feel the worst I have in years! Can you guys relate? All I want to do is hide.

    1. I can totally relate to gaining weight around the holidays and gaining while spending time at my parents, traveling, etc. Remember, be the turtle. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t have to try to do everything right this second. Little changes over time add up to BIG results! Wishing you all the best on your journey Brittany!

  21. Thank you so, so much. I’m 17 and I went from 143 to 150 lbs over the quarantine break and I’ve been freaking out, not knowing what to do until I read this and it gave me so, so much comfort. God Bless you!

  22. Thank you! I lost 35 pounds in 2018 and have gained 30 pounds of it back. Have been working on getting back on track the past month and lost 8 pounds. Hoping to keep it up! Thanks for doing this.

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