You can give yourself numerous reasons for not overcoming what keeps you from losing weight. Here is a sampling of the reasons:

I don’t have enough time to cook.

It’s too expensive to make healthy food.

I’m too tired to prep all these meals.

I just want to be able to eat without all this worry.

When researching this article, I came across similar reasons in an article from goodhousekeeping.com entitled 10 Bogus Weight-Loss Excuses You Need to Stop Making.

While these may seem like reasons why you are not losing weight, they are, in fact, excuses.

The Reasons 

The real reason you are having trouble losing weight and keeping it off has little to do with any of these things and much to do with how you feel about yourself, food, and your health.

When it comes to permanent weight loss, your emotions play a much more significant role in your ability to overcome weight gain than nearly any other factor. Whether it is guilt over making an unhealthy food choice, anger over not being the size you want to be, or regret over past mistakes that you try to comfort with food, your emotions drive your eating habits.

And until you learn to identify and overcome the feelings standing in your way, you will not be capable of losing weight and keeping it off.

Knowing Your Emotional Triggers

The first step to identifying and overcoming the emotions that keep you from losing weight is to consider when you reach for comfort food. Of course, what we each feel is comforting may be different (salty, sweet, spicy, starchy, etc.), but there is probably something that you can identify as your go-to food or eating habit when it comes to emotional eating.

When do you seek these things out? Is it when you are happy and want to celebrate, when you are alone, or when you are bored?

Here are some typical reasons you may use food to satisfy your emotions.

1. Childhood Patterns

You may be carrying a lot of behaviors and ideas about food around from when you were little, too. For example, did your parents teach you to associate food with love, be a good person, and show others how you feel? Do you think the only way to show someone you care is with cake?

2. Silencing Your Emotions

Sometimes, we eat to quiet the uncomfortable feelings we do not want to acknowledge. Stuffing food into our mouths seems like a perfectly logical way to numb the sadness, anxiety, shame, or other feelings going through your heart.

3. Your Social Circle

Spending time with friends often focuses on eating or drinking, which can lead to too much of both of those things. Also, doing something because everyone else is doing it is an emotional response.

4. Filling the Void

When your life lacks purpose, clarity, interest, or fulfillment, food can be a way that you try to fill the time. Food is a great distraction from the lack of meaning in your life. It fills you up, so you do not have to think about how empty you feel.

5. Responding to Stress

Eating to help you calm the physical response to stress is common. Stress causes the release of hormones that can make you feel hungry and edgy, and the more stress in your life, the more likely you are to overeat or make unhealthy food choices. 

Overcoming These Triggers

Once you have figured out which emotional trigger leads to your behaviors, you can find new, healthier ways to confront and cope with these emotions that do not involve food. For example, you can find alternatives to eating that help you manage your feelings.

You can become more mindful of your emotions, practice meditation, and even seek counseling to help you deal with more profound, more substantial issues. But overcoming these emotions will be necessary to achieve the weight loss and health goals you wish to achieve.

Kathleen M. Zelman, who has served as director of nutrition for WebMD, has written an article entitled ‘No-Whining’ Dieting: 10 Ways to Cut the Excuses, which provides more tips on overcoming these triggers.


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Jeff Moji

Hi there. I'm Jeff Moji, an engineer, information technologist, and health enthusiast. I have set up this website to explore the best ways to keep fit and healthy as I grow older during this pandemic-prone time. Please keep in touch so we can exchange information and spur one another on.

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