Once again, the never-ending desire to lose weight no matter how much or how little. It seems so elusive and difficult for so many. No matter who I speak with, when I mention that I am a nutritionist, someone will always say, “I need to lose weight”. What I find so interesting that most people know what they need to do to lose weight. The problem is they just can’t do it. Here are 3 more obstacles that usually keep people stuck and 3 more solutions on how to move past them. To see the first 3 obstacles and solutions (part 1 of this article), click here.
OBSTACLE #4: That Old Voice in Your Head
We all have it. That voice that tells you “what’s the big deal” it’s only a little bite or I had a really bad day, I know I’m trying to lose weight but I DESERVE THIS! Or this cupcake is going to make me feel SO much better. That old self-sabotaging voice in your head that always pops up with old ingrained beliefs about what you think and how feel about yourself and how you relate to food and eating. That old voice is one of the reasons why you may not be able to lose weight. That old voice is so used to justifying all the reasons why you should eat vs. justifying the better reasons why you shouldn’t.
Solution: Start to practice listening to the OTHER voice in your head. The logical, practical voice that we all have in there but we tend to ignore. Start exercising your brain to listen to that practical voice because that voice will always lead you towards a better choice that will ultimately help you stay the course and reach your goals.
OBSTACLE #5: Lack of Support
I hear all the time from clients that they feel unsupported by a spouse or a partner. I had one client tell me that when she was trying to lose weight her spouse would get upset if she did not want to drink wine at dinner with him or if she wanted to eat something a little different than what he was eating. It made her feel terrible and it was very difficult to make the long-term changes that she wanted to make.
Another example of lack of support is when out in a group situation. Its crazy that when you tell your friends you are trying to incorporate healthier eating into your life, how they try to push the bread basket or dessert when you say that you don’t want any. You feel self-conscious and judged. What you have to realize is that often when someone is insisting that you eat when you say no, it’s because they feel badly that they are unable to make healthy changes themselves and that they can’t pass up the bread or the dessert.
Solution: When it comes to your spouse or partner, sit down and let them know you are about to embark on a process of change to develop a healthier lifestyle and it is important to you to have his/her support. Ask for them to be supportive especially when the going may be a little tough.
When it comes to your friends be firm when saying ‘no thank you’. Keep in mind that when they start to push it could be in part because they are transferring their stuff onto you.
If people in your life still won’t support you then still stay firm. You need to practice getting comfortable taking care of yourself by asking for what you want and giving yourself what you need. This is about you. When you take care of you everything in your life gets better.
OBSTACLE #6: Emotional Eating/Compulsive Eating
This is a big one. Eating your feelings. The majority of my client coaching revolves around emotional eating. Using food as your drug of choice to stuff down or numb your feelings. This type of eating involves more than just stuffing down a few cookies. Emotional/compulsive eating is usually the whole box or the whole box and a pint of ice cream and then some. If you’ve experienced this, you know that it’s only or those moments the food is in your mouth that you may feel good. When you are done, not only will you still be stressed, depressed, angry etc., but now you feel horrible both emotionally and physically. Food does not fix your feelings. It doesn’t have that much power. Its just food.
Solution: Practice the acronym H.A.L.T. Determine if you are Hungry, Angry or Anxious, Lonely, Tired.
Identify the feelings that are driving you to eat when you are not hungry but feeling emotional.
Find a Plan B. Figure out what else you can do with those feelings you are experiencing. Be sure to steer clear of the kitchen. Go into your room and breathe.
Do some yoga poses, meditate, call a friend, walk the dog. Find another way to deal with the feelings other than eat. Spend sometime trying to figure out where those feelings are coming from. Try journaling to get your feelings out on paper. My clients tell me that they feel more present and in touch with their feelings when they journal. Rather than holding it in it helps them to get their feelings out by writing it down.
If emotional eating is something you have struggled with for years, schedule an appointment with a health professional that can help you overcome overeating due to emotional or compulsive eating.
il it has become almost involuntary. Once you adopt healthier habits you will never have to worry about having willpower.
About the guest columnist: Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. You can register for Lisa’s FREE Right Mind, Right Weight Online Summit by clicking here. Lisa is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State since 2001. Lisa specializes in personalized weight loss coaching, emotional eating, mindful eating, lifestyle and habit/behavior change. She helps her clients create the changes they desire so they can lose weight for good. Lisa also counsels clients on overall wellness, restoring health from chronic disease states, sports nutrition, and vitamin supplementation. Lisa has her private practice in New York City.