For many people, losing weight isn’t just a physical thing. It’s often very emotional as well.
Psychological blocks may be stopping you from losing weight and you could be self sabotaging all of your efforts.
So, why do we do this and how can we stop it?
Find out the reasons why we find it so mentally hard to lose weight below…
Reasons we have psychological blocks when it comes to losing weight
Even with the best of intentions, we can often end up derailing our progress when we feel tired, stressed, emotional, bored, or depressed.
Weight loss is difficult at the best of times, but when you are stressed, losing weight becomes even more difficult.
Stress is incredibly common – especially in mums, and it can have a real negative impact on helping you to lose stomach fat. And let’s face it – many of us would love nothing more than to say goodbye to tummy fat for good!
But what you might not realise is that we tend to have a tendency to consume foods that contain lots of sugar or fat when feeling stressed, instead of healthy foods.
Eating when you feel low is a way many people deal with how they are feeling rather than to satisfy actual hunger.
It can be a tough habit to break, and there are some foods that seem to be a popular go-to option when these emotions arise.
Negative body image
Body image pressure put on women is incredible. Every day we are hit with media and social media images of the so called ‘perfect look’.
When we feel we don’t look a certain way, it can cause us to self-sabotage or derail our efforts.
Put simply, emotional eating occurs when things get tough or challenging, when you’re having a bad day at work, feeling sad and exhausted.
We are all creatures of habit and for many of us, food is linked to our emotions and how we feel. We are rewarded with treats and seek comfort in food.
This is a big reason why people overeat. In our highly stimulated, visual and fast-paced society, when we are faced with a break, some of us do not know how to handle it.
As mums, our days are busy but also very isolating at home with the kids. Boredom can play a huge roll in why many mums tend to overeat.
It’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted and the family is hungry. You’ve cooked a somewhat healthy dinner amongst the chaos and made sure plates are filled around the table. The kids are playing up and by the time you’re finally ready to eat, a cold plate is not that satisfying.
Instead you put it aside and tuck into some ice cream.Chances are this scenario is a variation of reality for many busy mums.
If you think about it like this, animals aren’t designed to watch what they eat or restrict calories. In the wild, food is often scarce and needs to be found or hunted.
Our brains are fighting our natural animalistic urges to consume what is in front of you when you can, as you never know where your next meal is coming from.
However, while it may seem ‘unnatural’, humans now live in a world where food is in abundance – it’s a very world different from our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Our supermarkets have every type of meal easily available and we have the ability to stock up in our pantries, fridges and freezers.
How we were raised
This notion of ‘eating everything on our plate’ stems from our parents who were told to eat everything from their parents and back many generations when food wasn’t readily available.
The concept of a clean plate has many roots, from when our predecessors were starving or after the World Wars when there was a lack of food available.
But you can break this cycle, by putting less on your plate.
How do we stop the these psychological blocks?
- Stay on track for a while but over time revert back to your old unhealthy lifestyle.
- Know what needs to be done but you can’t seem to achieve any progress.
- Have worked out and eaten right for the last few days so you indulge in treat meals for the rest of the week.
If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these, chances are you are self-sabotaging your own attempts at health.
Success in weight loss rarely just depends on eating right and exercising. It’s also dependent on your mindset, habits and mental health. Exercising will not fix your emotional eating. Restrictive diets will not change your lack of motivation.
Quite often we get off track due to the fact that there is an inner conflict with our desire to achieve better and the physical motivation to do so, which leads to lack of consistency and thus progress.
8 ways to stop self-sabotaging
1. Put pen to paper
When we write down our thoughts, fears and anxieties, they somehow seem smaller than when they were in our heads. So list four or five reasons why you think your life will be worse than it is now if you achieve your goals.
You will soon see the fact that you have been fearful of losing weight due to false rationalisations. Once you identify what these fears are you can work through them.
2. Challenge your fear
Try to poke holes in your logic and your false rationalisation so you can diminish their control over you. You can do this by talking to your partner for some objectivity or share your thoughts in The Healthy Mummy’s Facebook groups, where other women have been where you are.
3. Be yourself
Don’t try to impress others and try to gain their respect by changing your behaviour. Be yourself and be confident in that. The higher your self-esteem about who you are as a person (a wonderful, beautiful, clever person), the more confident and happy you will become.
If you have plans to follow a healthy lifestyle, then get started on that journey and know it won’t happen overnight. Every small change or step you make is helping you to become more confident in your skin.
Don’t make these big lifestyle changes because others want you to – make them because you want to, because you know it will improve so many areas of your life.
4. Change your expectations
Often we have expectations about how things should be in our lives, from past experiences or how we’ve grown up.
You may have tried a number of times to lose weight or follow a healthy eating plan and not succeeded before, and therefore you just expect yourself to fail every time.
When you commit to a new plan like the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge to change your lifestyle for the better. Try and change your expectations. If you’ve failed in the past, that doesn’t mean you’ll fail again.
5. Be positive
It’s so easy to be negative and talk yourself out of things. We often love to dwell on all the negatives in our lives like “I’ll never make it to my goal weight” or “eating healthily costs me too much money” or “I’m not a good cook so it’s much easier for me to get takeaway and/or pre-prepared meals”.
If you’re feeling negative and think you may as well give up on achieving your weight loss goals then think about something positive. Even just thinking positively about anything in your life, not just your weight loss journey, will give you more confidence to continue and not make excuses.
Before you know it, you’ve turned your positive thoughts into positive action towards making your healthy changes.
6. Don’t let fear take over
Often we self-sabotage because we have fear that we’ll fail. How embarrassing if we set all these goals and make all these plans but don’t achieve them.
Rather than giving it a go we just set ourselves up for failure, make excuses and don’t even start our journey properly.
Does it really matter if you don’t achieve your goals exactly as you set out to? The only person you should need to answer to is yourself. Don’t worry about other people’s judgements, that’s their business.
If you have a goal of losing 10kgs in a certain timeframe and only lose 8kgs then the people who are really important in your life will be so proud of what you’ve achieved.
Don’t let fear of failure stop you – it’s more important to try than to sit back making excuses and never even see what you can achieve.
7. Just Get Started
If you know you are self-sabotaging your healthy lifestyle journey by making excuses, never making the time to focus on yourself and listening to that inner critical voice that often says things like “you can’t do this, don’t bother”, then that’s one of the first steps in stopping these behaviours.
Recognise when this negative chatter starts in your head and just do something to get started on your journey – make a healthy meal for dinner, do some exercise etc.
The more you combat the negative thoughts with positive actions, the less often the self-sabotaging will happen as you’ll soon see that you have in fact started your lifestyle change, you are eating better, you are fitting in exercise.
All it take is one foot in front of the other and just keep going. The setbacks will come but dust yourself off and keep moving forward. Before you know it, you’ll be so much closer to your goals and feeling so much happier about what you’ve achieved.
8. Reassess your reasons for a healthier life
Consciously reassess your reasons for a healthier life, making sure you are identifying and dealing with the reasons for your fear.
You have all the resources, support and knowledge to set you on your weight loss journey but you find you are still not making visible progress. This lack of progress more often than not boils down to a lack of consistency, which is created by self-sabotaging behaviour.
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is the perfect opportunity to start 2019 off to a healthy, happier you. Thousands of women have lost weight and are now seeing an improvement in their overall wellbeing. Be one of them today!
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