5 Bad Habits That Stop Emotional Eaters From Weight Loss Success

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A good number of the people I see for weight loss are emotional eaters.

A few may not recognize they are but it usually manifests itself quickly in the interview and becomes the core issue to tackle in order to overcome the overeating habit.

There are a set of bad habits I see common among emotional eaters that jeopardizes their ability to lose weight and keep it off because they “railroad” the focus of the plan.

These are what I term as emotional bad habits as they’re related to personal attitude and issues that spoil the emotional eater’s ability to stay committed to their weight loss plan.

These habits are sometimes referred to as excuses, but however you want to categorize them doesn’t matter as long as you realize what is happening and how to tackle it.

Defeatist Attitude:

Emotional eaters almost expect to fail before they begin. Going in with an attitude of nothing has worked for me before so why would this be any different sets a bad negative tone for success. The fact is nothing has worked for you up until now, but things are different now, because you know why none of the diets worked before and can avoid the slippery slopes you wandered onto during past weight loss plans. Nobody should say, or expect, weight loss to be a breeze, but knowing why something didn’t work before increases the chances of not repeating stuff that gets you to the same disappointing place again.

Feeling Deprived:

When I explain to emotional eaters what may need to change about their diets I often get a response like “I’m not sure I can give up my favorite foods.” This is confusing the body’s need with the individual’s need. The body needs food for fuel so it can keep going – that’s all. If your favorite foods are healthy – like low-carbs and fruits and vegetables – then great, but if you have a lot of sugar and high carbs in your meals then changes in your diet will be required.

Realize if you can’t give up certain foods then this is because they satisfy some emotional need BUT you can get by without them, and like a smoker who gives up cigarettes can survive and actually thrive much better without them. You were not born addicted to sugar and in fact depriving your body of sugars that are empty calories is being kind to your body rather abusing it.

The Self-Esteem Issue:

This manifests itself by emotional eaters saying things like “Even when I’m slim I’m not attractive.”  This is the self-esteem issue and what we see when WE look in the mirror, and not necessarily what others see when they look at us. The fact is very few of us – male or female – are born with movie star looks and figures. We’ve also been brainwashed into believing you need to look a certain way to be attractive. Of course this is nonsense. Feeling that losing weight doesn’t matter because they’ll never be attractive provides an excuse for emotional eaters to slip back to bad habits and spoil their weight loss plans.

Playing the Victim:

Making life style changes such as eating differently is rarely a smooth path. There are speed bumps and distractions along the way and plenty of opportunities to get knocked down and spend time in pity city, and fall into the bad habit of playing the victim and blaming others. This is also a slippery slope because once you transfer responsibility for how things are going for you to others then you easily slip back into emotional eating. The antidote to this is to focus on where you want to be rather than where you’re at.

Insidious Skepticism:

I use the tag “insidious skepticism” to identify how when the going gets tough we downplay some of the benefits we recognized and got excited about when we started a weight loss program, and eventually become disillusioned and abandon the plan. We may have identified the health benefits of losing weight or the major difference it would make in changing everything wrong in our lives. But as we struggle to keep the impetus going we convince ourselves because losing weight won’t really fix all our health issues why bother. Or I’ve lost weight but my life is still bad in other areas so I why not get back to coping with those challenges as I always did – by eating.

Losing weight will drastically improve your overall health. It’ll reduce the likelihood for diabetes, heart disease, and of course lack of energy. But it’s just a necessary start on your health journey – not the destination. Even if you needed to, and did, lose 100 lbs this doesn’t mean all your dreams come true. You still have everything normal life throws at you to deal with each day, but the major difference being you’ll not resort to eating to cope – you’ll find more healthy means.

Emotional eating is one of the most common reasons many people are unsuccessful on just traditional weight loss programs focused only on a diet. If you’ve struggled in the past on losing weight and recognize yourself in any of these habits that polluted your chance of losing weight permanently, then maybe its time to get back on the weight loss horse knowing what you know now.

Free At Last Hypnosis offers weight loss programs but the one that tackles emotional eating is our signature program. You can find out more about my Weight Loss Hypnosis Service here.

Erika Slater, CH
Director,
Free At Last Hypnosis

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