Is your weight loss journey a constant up and down? Do you often find that you’re self-sabotaging diet plans by either overeating or not sticking to the plan at all?
If so, this blog post is for you. In it, we will discuss how to stop self-sabotaging weight loss and start seeing lasting results!
What is self-sabotage?
A behavior is considered self-sabotage when we deliberately hinder our own success and well-being with thoughts, feelings, and actions that undermine our personal goals and values.
When it comes to weight loss, this often means not sticking with a diet plan or going back on the same unhealthy habits that led us down the path of being overweight in the first place!
Your weight loss self-sabotage can happen without even realizing it at all. One minute you are following your diet and the next thing you know, it’s time for a snack or mealtime hits, and suddenly that “healthy” lunch is forgotten.
Signs you’re self-sabotaging weight loss efforts
Self-sabotage can take many forms and are sometimes hard to spot. Here are some common signs that you may be dealing with weight loss sabotage:
- You’re restricting yourself too much. If you’re constantly depriving yourself of food, it can backfire. You may end up overeating or bingeing later on.
- You’re not staying consistent with your diet. Yo-yo dieting can lead to weight gain in the long run. It’s important to find a diet that you can stick to.
- You’re eating too much processed food. Processed foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients. They can also trigger cravings and make it harder to lose weight.
- You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain by affecting hormones and metabolism. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- You’re not exercising regularly. Exercise is important for your overall health and well-being, and should be a part of any health goal.
- You’re stress-eating. Stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits, which can sabotage weight loss efforts. Try to manage stress with healthy coping mechanisms like exercise or meditation.
- You’re not drinking enough water. Water is essential for weight loss as it helps to boost metabolism and flush out toxins. Make sure you’re drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
- You’re relying on quick-fix solutions. Fad diets or supplements may seem like they offer a quick way to lose weight, but they generally don’t work in the long run and can even be dangerous.
- You have unrealistic expectations. It’s important to have realistic expectations when trying to lose weight. If your goals are unrealistic, you’ll likely be disappointed and give up.
- You’re comparing yourself to others. Everyone loses weight at their own pace, so comparing yourself to others can be self-defeating and discouraging.
- You’re not tracking your progress. Tracking your progress is essential for weight loss success, but many people self-sabotage by not doing it.
These are just some of the ways self-sabotage can creep into your weight loss journey. Let’s look next at why you sabotage diet and weight loss.
What causes self-sabotaging behavior?
Have you ever asked yourself “Why do I self-sabotage my weight loss?” There are many things that can lead to self-sabotaging behavior.
Lack of self-esteem
A lack of self-confidence can lead to a person not feeling like they are worth sticking to the plan.
When you lack self-confidence, small victories may not seem like anything to be proud of.
This can lead to the person feeling as though they are never going to make progress and giving up on any weight loss goals altogether.
Fear of success
This is when a person feels that if they succeed, it will only bring more pain. This could be from past experiences of success not being enough or it could also come down to fear of what others will say.
This type of self-sabotage behavior is most common in people who are trying to avoid the pain that comes with judgment and ridicule.
Fear can hinder a person’s ability to make their goals happen because they are too afraid to take the first step.
Fear of failure
If a person fails at something, then there’s no point in trying to do anything differently because things can’t possibly get any worse. This leads them to stay the same and not make an effort toward change.
Fear of failure is the most common type in people who self-sabotaged weight loss.
The fear can be a result of past failures or it may come down to not believing that they are able to succeed with their goal at all because there’s no point in trying if they’re going to fail anyway.
Not feeling your emotions
Feelings are a natural and normal part of life. They can be both negative or positive, but no matter what they should not be ignored!
When people ignore their feelings it means those emotions go unchecked and manifest as other behaviors that may lead to self-sabotaging weight loss.
One example is overeating when you feel sad because you’re trying to cope with the emotions.
When you are able to feel your feelings, it is easier for them to pass and become something that can be processed in a healthy manner!
Looking to the past for results
As humans, we have a tendency to look to our past experiences for potential future results.
This can be a good thing because it allows us to learn from our mistakes.
But when you look back on your past failures, it is easier for that fear of failure mentioned earlier to take over. This fear can cause you to avoid taking any steps towards changing your weight because of the fear that things won’t work out.
It’s also difficult to have a different result if you can’t find past examples of success.
When you tell yourself “I can’t do it because I’ve never done it”, it can stop you from even trying, and you end up being your own worst enemy.
Most people who suffer from self-sabotage weight loss are in denial about their feelings.
This leads them to react to unprocessed feelings by coming up with excuses as the reasons for why they couldn’t make it work this time, but will next week!
Some of the common types of excuses are “I’m too busy”, “I’m too tired”, and “It’s too hard!”.
As women or moms, we’re taught to take care of everyone else and put ourselves last, and being too busy taking care of the kids and family can often come up with moms losing weight, at the expense of our own health and well-being.
Lack of support
Another problem might be a lack of support from family and friends. If your loved ones discourage you when you’re following a diet plan, it can be difficult to stick with it to get to a healthy weight.
It’s challenging enough being in a situation where you have self-doubt, but when other people are telling you that they don’t believe in your abilities either, it is easy for the person to start believing them and give up on their weight loss efforts altogether.
How to stop self-sabotaging weight loss
1. Increase your awareness
The first step to being able to stop self-sabotaging weight loss is by becoming aware of your habits.
If you are not aware that you’re doing something, then there’s no way for a person to change it!
Do you eat out of hunger or out of habit?
Are you thinking about food obsessively throughout the day?
Do you avoid the gym because of a busy schedule or do you feel like it’s not worth going to?
What are the thoughts that led you to self-sabotage your weight loss the last time this happened?
Once you know what those habits and thoughts are, then they will be easier for you to identify. This is when it becomes much easier to make the change.
One way to do this is by keeping a journal of your thoughts and behaviors throughout the day, then going back over it later when you have more time.
This will help you become aware of what’s really happening in your life so that you can stop self-sabotaging weight loss before it starts!
2. Modify your unhealthy habits
Once you have awareness of your unhealthy habits, it’s time to make changes.
You need an action plan for how you will stop self-sabotaging weight loss. This may involve:
- Eliminating unhealthy processed sugar and foods from your diet by quitting sugar and replacing them with a healthy eating meal plan with options like vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and beans.
- Making a list of all the positive things about weight loss and keeping it in a visible place to remind yourself of those benefits
- Reconnecting with your feelings by doing some deep breathing exercises, or talking to someone who is supportive.
3. Feel your feelings
How can you stop self-sabotaging weight loss if you’re not even aware of what is causing it in the first place?
It’s important to allow yourself time to notice, acknowledge, and feel your feelings.
Doing so will help you deal with anxiety and process them, give you clarity on how they are affecting your behaviors, and eventually lead to a healthier life.
4. Watch your self-talk
Watching your self-talk is a great way to stop yourself from engaging in self-sabotaging brain chatters.
According to a Harvard study, when you’re able to reframe common negative patterns, also known as automatic negative thoughts, you’re more likely able to break free from self-sabotaging behavior and feel more balanced.
People who use negative phrases like “I can’t” or “It’s not worth it!” are setting themselves up for failure before they even begin their journey!
Instead, you should find new ways of talking to yourself.
One way is using the “I can” phrase, which tells your brain that you are capable of making a change even if it’s not easy or feels out of reach at first!
Another thing people do when they’re self-sabotaging weight loss is talk about how difficult something will be rather than focusing on the benefits.
It’s much more encouraging and empowering to talk about how great you’re going to feel when you’ve lost those pounds, rather than talking about what it will take for you not to lose them!
5. Eat to nourish
Don’t deprive your body of nourishment with restrictive dieting.
When we’re not eating to our full potential, it causes the body to crave foods more.
This leads people to overeat and then feel guilty about what they’ve done which can lead them into a vicious cycle of self-sabotaging weight loss!
Instead, you should find ways to nourish your body, such as by eating a variety of natural whole foods and clean healthy snacks when you feel physically hungry.
Monitoring your intake is also important to help avoid overeating in the future!
6. Plan your meals
Making a plan for your meals is an important step to stopping self-sabotaging weight loss.
It’s so easy these days to grab something quickly, healthy or not when you’re hungry but it will only make you feel worse in the long run!
Our primitive brain is designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain and when you make on-the-fly decisions, you’re more likely to choose something that is high in calories and low in nutritional content, which will increase your weight.
Planning our meals ahead of time engages the more advanced part of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex.
This part of the brain will help you make better, more rational decisions when it comes to what you’re eating and how much.
And when you plan things out and record them, you are also setting concrete intentions that help you to be more likely to achieve your goal!
Extra bonus points if you tend to overeat at night and think through how to stop sabotaging your diet with junk food at night and plan ahead for potential triggers and obstacles!
7. Stay accountable
It’s also important to stay accountable when you’re trying to stop self-sabotaging your way to your goal weight.
We are all human and we will slip up from time to time, but it is the fact that we start over again after a mistake that makes us successful!
One way of staying accountable is by creating weekly or monthly goals that you want to accomplish.
This will give you a clear direction for the week ahead and help avoid self-sabotaging weight loss behaviors by giving yourself specific tasks that can be completed!
Another way is through journaling or writing down your progress towards achieving your goal each day in an accountability log.
It’s also important to find a support group or a weight loss coach that can help keep you accountable.
Having someone to answer to will do wonders for your success!
And last but not least, don’t forget about self-compassion and giving yourself the love and attention that we all need to succeed.
We are our biggest cheerleaders so make sure to take care of yourself!
In conclusion, if you are struggling with losing weight and keeping it off, take a look at your behavior for signs of self-sabotage. Once you’ve identified any potential causes, there are steps you can take to stop sabotaging your own success.
We hope this article has been helpful in giving you some insight into the world of self-sabotage and how to overcome it. If you have any questions about stopping your self-sabotaging weight loss efforts, please leave a comment below!