Why Do We Self-Sabotage Our Weight Loss?

Ciccone Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Why Do We Self-Sabotage Our Weight Loss?

Have you ever started a weight loss plan and then suddenly craved all of the things you just told yourself you can’t have? Or go to an event where someone offers you something that you’re not supposed to have, but you accept it and eat it anyway? There are real reasons why we sabotage our weight loss and the more aware you are of them, the more prepared you’ll be to avoid them.

The first and most common reason is TEMPTATION. You have a plan in place but all of a sudden you find yourself opening up cabinets, looking at all of the things you can’t have. It’s like the food is whispering your name! You’re not even hungry and it’s lured you over just to say “hi.” Why? Why with a plan in place, and no hunger, do you go there? Temptation is never about the food, it’s always about how eating the food makes you feel. When we’re bored, it occupies us and when we’re lonely it makes us forget. It’s a temporary solution for a lot of things you may feel at that moment. When you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself “what am I feeling right now?” and fill that void in other healthier ways!

The next reason for self-sabotage is my all-time favorite—REBELLION. We always want what we can’t have. I’ve been at a party when the dessert tray has gone by and I see it’s tiramisu. I don’t even like tiramisu, so I’m not tempted, but the more time that goes by, I find myself looking for it, telling myself I can’t have it yet. Next thing I know I’m eating the parts of the tiramisu that I find to be tolerable. Wait, what just happened? My brain told my mouth no, but somehow my mouth is eating something my brain doesn’t even enjoy. Sabotage! Being aware that this can happen is the first step. The next step is reminding yourself that you can have it, but that you don’t want it. The last step is to celebrate the victory of being in control of those situations.

The next reason is the toughest for most—ACCOMODATION. I hear this one a lot from clients. “Someone offered me __ and I couldn’t say no.” We are all taught to be kind and polite and not to hurt people’s feelings. Saying “no” to grandma’s homemade pie breaks all of those rules! But the truth is, you may have good intentions but you’re going to feel terrible after. Remember, your eating choices are yours and yours alone. Granny will still love you I promise!

The last reason is the ALL OR NOTHING mindset—the need for perfection. We’ve all said, “Well, I’ll just start over tomorrow”. One missed step and it’s all out the window because we need to do all the steps flawlessly and one mistake ruined the day. Whether it’s forgetting your gym shoes or simply not planning properly for dinner, one small thing when you’re striving for perfection can destroy an entire plan! Though this idea of perfection has been ingrained in us, it’s actually not the most productive approach. Deciding to be flexible and adjust as you go will set you up for long-term success!

The key to overcoming all of these traps is to take a moment when they’re happening, label them accordingly, and then talk yourself through them. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest victory when it comes to overcoming the sabotage! 

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