Heavy Thoughts? How Distorted Thinking Affects Weight Loss


There’s a difference common to individuals who fail to lose weight and keep it off long term. It’s called all-or-nothing thinking. Do you recognize any (or all) of the following?

  • · Hunger is bad; being full (often overly full) is good.


  • · I’m good if I follow my diet and bad if I make one mistake


  • · My eating week was good or bad even if I just struggle one day or several minutes a day


  • · If I’m losing weight, I’m fully in control; if I’m not, I’m totally out of control.

  • · If I make a diet mistake, I’ve failed, so I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day.


  • · One mistake? Okay, let me start fresh the next meal or the next day (an issue when this happens every morning).


  • · Now that I’ve lost the weight, I can return to my old way of eating.


  • · I believe that people of normal weight rarely restrict their eating and rarely get hungry.


  • · I believe that people of normal weight can eat what ever they want.


  • · My motto is skinny people are healthy.

If you’re thinking this way, your thinking needs some adjustment. Standard cognitive therapy techniques can really come to the rescue, especially when paired with efforts to learn about better food choices, nutrition and exercise that will work for their current stage in your program (When you weight 250 pounds, you will be doing a different exercise program then when you are 150 pounds. After you lose 100 pounds, progression of your program is a must).

One Strategy Big Results

One simple cognitive strategy is to work on self-communication. Try to come up with a reason to stay on a program instead of throwing in the towel.

For example, if excessive eating or eating at times that are not planned is your pattern, say to yourself:

“Even though I really want to eat now, I haven’t planned to. If I eat right now food that is not on my plan, I’ll strengthen my “giving-in” habit, which means in the future I haven not strengthen my “resist” habit to build up on my future success towards weight loss.”

Elaborate this question with a self-dialogue:  Tell yourself, “it is doable not to eat right now.” In a few minutes, (maybe after drinking some water instead), you will be very glad that you’ve put off this desire to eat again. After all, you’d rather be thinner and to be thinner, you can’t eat whatever you want to eat whenever the whim strikes you.

Recognize that you have to make a choice. And every time matters. Each choice you make that helps you stay on your weight loss path helps you. It’s the little things, like ordering tomatoes instead of potatoes, or asking for the dressing on the side that really pay off.

Change your mind to change your body

Do the following: Start by putting yourself into a situation where you know you will fail and come up with a strategy that you can do in order not to give in. Write it down. When you are faced with this situation, you will know what to do.

Stay focused.

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Categories : Motivation, Nutrition

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