by Kathryn Scoblick
Diet games people play can sabotage any weight loss strategy. If you are tired and frustrated with the weight loss game, keep reading to win!
Diet Sabotage Game #1:
Taking an All or Nothing Approach
Getting your brain wrapped around the perfect time to start a diet program with an all-or-nothing approach is a game in itself! You are thinking to yourself, “I can’t start now, because in two days, I have a party to go to. Maybe I can start next week…no…that won’t work…because it is ____’s birthday and we are all going out to eat. Friday is pizza day and Saturday is the weekend. I’ll start Monday and then cheat on Friday—pizza day.” Sound familiar?
Taking an all-or-nothing diet approach and eliminating specific food groups is difficult to maintain over time and is even difficult to begin. You will either get tired of the deprivation, or you will experience guilt or shame, and throw your hands up in defeat once you have one (inevitable) misstep.
A better way...
Ask yourself what one thing you are willing to do today that makes you healthier than you were yesterday? Honoring your commitment and doing that one thing will get you on the right track because success breeds success. You will learn with this approach that you can enjoy pizza Friday by having one piece of pizza and salad—a healthier approach than all or nothing!
Diet Sabotage Game #2
Saying “I Can’t Have That”
This is a sure way to make yourself crave and desire what you proclaimed you can’t have. This approach creates immediate resistance and puts the spotlight on exactly what you “can’t have.” You will always get more of what you focus on. If you say that you can’t have chips then you will think about, crave and want to eat those darn chips!
Resistance creates inner struggles. Change your approach and resistance will dissipate.
A better way…
To eliminate resistance, focus on what you can have and what you are willing to do and then create meaning, positive energy and emotions around why you want to lose weight. By asking yourself the “why” question three times, you will learn why weight loss is deeply important to you.
Diet Sabotage Game #3
Blaming Somebody Else for Your Habits
Blame keeps you stuck right where you are. It gives you permission not to change or take responsibility for your own actions. For example, it is easy to blame your spouse or children for the junk in the house that you eat. You might complain, “If I didn’t have to be in the kitchen cooking, I wouldn’t be snacking” or, “If I didn’t have to buy ice cream for the kids, then I wouldn’t be eating ice cream at night.” Can you hear how silly this sounds and how damaging that way of thinking is to your cherished relationships? Blaming somebody else for your behavior is something you might want to rethink. It is harmful to you and your relationships and promotes anger, resentment and negativity.
A better way…
Of course, staying away from the kitchen outside of mealtime is helpful in any weight-loss strategy. Having a planned distraction is another useful tool. If you find yourself walking toward the pantry out of habit, pause and ask yourself if what you are about to eat will cause you peace or discontent? Are you even hungry? Having a planned distraction will highlight your established habits and help you take responsibility to change those. Can you go for a brisk walk instead? Deciding and acting immediately to make the healthy choice will strengthen you (success breeds success) and have you looking to yourself for answers instead of blaming others for your actions.
There are obvious weight loss strategies such as getting plenty of rest, regular physical activity, and choosing a diet rich in colorful plant foods. Possibly less familiar and equally worthy of your attention is your self-talk, how you process your thoughts and what you believe you are capable of. You didn’t gain your weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight either. Expect to lose it over time with one healthy choice at a time. That self-loving diet approach of “inch by inch it’s a cinch” is a game we can all win.
Kathryn Scoblick is a certified health and wellness coach with Health Inspires (www.healthinspires.com) and the author of Health Inspires™: Your Way to Sustainable Weight Loss. She uses a holistic approach to inspire each person to reach their full potential and master their wellbeing. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Austin Metropolitan YMCA as well as on the Board of Directors for the Austin Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council, working on community and organizational health and wellness initiatives, from obesity prevention to mindfulness and stress reduction techniques. Kathryn is also Director of Employer Health and Wellness for a large healthcare conglomerate based in Austin, Texas, working with employers on wellness strategies and employee engagement.
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
Disclosure: Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program and ask whether you are healthy enough to engage in a diet and exercise program. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider concerning your overall health and wellness, including your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. It is your choice to follow the suggestions, opinions and advice given by a Health Inspires wellness coach.