“I exercised this AM, so I’ve earned these chips.” “I’m stressed out after a rough day, and chocolate helps me relax.” Does this sound familiar?

Do you Self-Sabotage…

  • You watch what you eat for a while, lose some weight, and improve your health… then gradually go back to your old ways.
  • You know exactly what to do but can’t seem to do it. You feel like you could write a diet book with everything you know about weight loss; you don’t act on it.

The reality is, there’s a huge difference between knowing what to do and doing it. It’s easy to transition from one diet to the next without ever sticking to anything. Success (or lack of it) comes down to our mindset and habits. Therefore, making healthy habit changes is essential for long-term success!!

Even though you may feel tired of being overweight and anxiously want to lose weight, you may find yourself overeating on food or not following through with your weight loss plan. These are sabotaging your ability to lose weight and feel amazing.

Many will try the latest fad diet, detox, challenge, cut out sugar, carbs, or “you name it” and/or increase exercise intensity or frequency, to defeat self-sabotage. This will not work because it’s not getting to the root of the problem …. this lies much deeper than your food and exercise.

There are several reasons for self-sabotage when trying to lose weight. I focus on identifying and overcoming self-sabotage with my clients, we dive deep to get to the root of the problem.

Identify the self-sabotaging diet trigger

Some of the triggers for sabotage might include:

  • Highly processed foods these (usually) are engineered to want us to continue to eat these foods
  • Visual triggers on Instagram! I have a habit of scrolling the hashtag #chocolatecookies, and suddenly find myself CRAVING cookies!
  • Trigger foods, picking up food that has a history of being a trigger for you, even if it’s crackers. There are no good or bad foods.

Recognize WHY you self-sabotage

Trigger awareness is key. But why you KEEP eating is usually something bigger.

  • Understanding why you aren’t sticking to your plan and taking a step back is sometimes enough for you to walk away from overeating.
  • The important thing is to reflect each time and identify the current reasons for doing it. Have a “real talk” with yourself and get curious.

These may be a few reasons:

  • You are just bored with the idea of eating healthy or eating the same meals every day and just want something more exciting with your food!
  • Check in with yourself and see how many times you have an impulse to eat something. We don’t realize how mindless it is to just reach for that food unconsciously.

It’s not that food is bad. Just stop. Think. Ask yourself, are you hungry? Pay attention to those hunger cues! Or, are you just eating mindlessly? Remember, let yourself have the bowl of ice cream, but make sure it happens, intentionally!

Make a plan

Once you have made yourself aware of what you are doing. Ask yourself “what triggered the sabotage, why did keep overeating?” Next, make a plan!

The most important thing to tell yourself is one “mess up” does not mean your weight loss plan has to end.

  • Avoid the “Well I had one cookie, might as well eat the entire bag!” This is a trap!
  • Change how you talk to yourself. Telling yourself that Oreos is a trigger food, 100 percent reinforces it. You can say, I can have Oreos and then walk away.
  • Remember your goals. Your current meal doesn’t need to be the most exciting part of your life. Get out there and live your life.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN