4 Ways Of Thinking That Are Hindering Your Weight Loss
How to recognize the saboteur thoughts that are keeping you from reaching your goals
Yes, you read that right. Ways of thinking. Your thoughts.
To begin with, I want to emphasize that no change in your physical body will sustain itself in the long run unless accompanied by a change in your mindset.
I tell you this because I have spent most of my life believing that, to lose weight, I should just “have more willpower,” eating less and exercising more — even though I have been physically active since childhood and my diet was healthier than average.
It took me a long time to see weight loss with other eyes and understand what was going on in my body. When I did see this with other eyes, it was just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the mind is the big star of the process. So today I want to tell you about four insistent saboteur thoughts that keep you from the results you seek.
I don’t know all the diets out there, but I can assure you that I’ve tried all the diets I know. For each one of them, there was a list of different rules. Invariably, I ended up bypassing or ignoring the rules … once, twice, three times … until I lost everything I had achieved.
The worst part of this story is that I used to feel as if I was committing a crime. Why? For example, if I ate pizza on a weekday night — and that was against current rules — I was a bad person. After all, “I obviously couldn’t eat pizza whenever I wanted and lose weight,” right?
This kind of conviction leads me to the first saboteur thought of weight loss:
# 1 — “I WAS A BAD PERSON BECAUSE I CHEATED ON MY DIET”
Similar thought to “I was a good person because I stuck to my diet.”
Meaning things such as the following:
- Ice cream is bad. I behaved badly because I had ice cream.
- Salad is good. I behaved well because I ate salad.
What you eat may or may not be good for your health (or your goals) but it definitely does not reflect your character. The problem with this black or white mentality, good food versus bad food, is that it associates your value as a human being to what you eat.
Eating salad doesn’t make you a good person — it makes you a salad eater. Maintaining a healthy diet does not give you any special features that make you more enjoyable or happy.
What determines if you’re a good person is how you treat others, your intention to do the right thing, being kind and nice. You are not a better person either because you refrain from eating pizza.
This perception of “good food = good person” only generates anguish and anxiety. It is a big trap of the weight loss industry that only serves to keep you stuck in the diet mindset.
For the second saboteur thought, I bring the classic:
# 2 — “WHEN I’M SKINNY MY LIFE WILL BE PERFECT”
This is a common feeling — but terribly mistaken. Many people think something like “when I lose weight, I will be more confident, happier, more loved, my marriage will be better, my children will behave better, I will have more money in the bank, and so on …” — even if in reality this does not make any sense.
This is a tempting fantasy — but it is still a fantasy. You will not be a different person when you lose weight. You will remain you — with all your problems — in a slimmer and presumably healthier body. Your essence and personality will be the same as it is not possible to change them by physical change.
The third very common saboteur thought is:
# 3 — “I WILL NEVER EAT PIZZA, ICE CREAM, LASAGNA, ETC. ANYMORE”
Deprivation (or the fear of it) — even if it is abstract or future, is one of the main triggers of compulsive eating behavior.
If for whatever reason you feel you can’t eat any particular food for a certain period of time, then it makes sense to eat all you can now, right? Who wants to be dying for chocolate with no chance to indulge themselves? It is this anticipation of future deprivation that leads to overeating in the present.
If you feel you can eat something, you can decide if you really want to eat it.
And finally, the fourth sabotaging thought of weight loss is the old pessimism, which manifests itself as:
# 4 — “THIS WON’T WORK ANYWAY…”
This is the catastrophic mentality that projects the past into the future and automatically creates a sense of failure or hopelessness. This hopelessness encourages a feeling of sadness and depression that makes you more vulnerable to using food for comfort.
None of us have a crystal ball to see the future. All we have is the past and the present. Practicing being here and now can help you feel better and more confident. And when you feel better, you are less likely to use food to deal with hopelessness.
A good way to start trusting your capabilities is to take stock of all the things you’ve already accomplished, make a report of your self-efficacy. In addition, practicing gratitude for the good things in your life can also help you feel better with it.
This well-being is what allows you to stop using food as an anesthetic or way to escape. And it is from this kind of change in your way of thinking that you are able to bring about true changes in your physical body.
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student._
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.