Many overeaters cling to diet myths and superstitions about food and weight. Ironically, this distorted, unrealistic way of thinking often leads to behaviors that actually keep the weight on.
- “If I starve or skip meals, I’ll lose more weight.”
Fact: Metabolism slows down because your body has an instinctive survival mechanism and thinks it is in starvation mode. Skipping meals also leads to a greater preoccupation with food. Eating healthy meals provides fuel and energy for you.
- “Laxatives, diuretics, and vomiting will speed weight loss.”
Fact: While these quick-fix methods of purging temporarily reduce water weight, all three are extremely dangerous and do not result in calorie reductions.
- “I fail on my diets because I have poor self-control.”
Fact: Failure is more likely linked to distorted thinking, lack of support, and poor information about nutrition.
- “If I don’t lose a lot of weight fast, or if I stop losing weight, the plan isn’t working.”
Fact: Your body’s metabolism may level off if it thinks you are starving. You may need to gently increase exercise to gradually increase metabolism.
- “I can sneak these cookies by my body.”
Fact: This is a form of denial when you pretend the calorie count automatically goes to zero if you eat quickly or privately. If you indulge in this type of distorted thinking, you believe cutting the size tag out of clothing makes the clothing smaller. Decide to be absolutely honest with yourself.
- “I’ll weigh myself right after overeating to see if I gained any weight.”
Fact: Weight gain may take several days to show up on a scale.
- “I weigh myself in the morning because I weigh less then.”
Fact: This is a meaningless assumption and should not be considered a reliable indicator.
- “After I’ve eaten a lot, I exercise strenuously and then weigh myself to see if I’ve lost weight.”
Fact: You may temporarily lose pounds because of water loss, but lasting weight loss takes time and patience. A better approach is to be mindful when you are eating and stop when you are full.
- “Healthy eating and weight management require willpower.”
Fact: Overeating indicates not a lack of willpower but the result of negative, distorted thinking patterns, which often lead to out-of-control behavior. Awareness is the key to changing your eating habits.
- “I can’t lose weight because …“
Many times we have excuses that we uphold as truth when it comes to weight loss. Examine what excuse you are using to keep you from doing what you can to live a healthy life.