Inner Dialogue that Sabotages Weight Loss

Losing weight and sticking to it has about just as much to do with your physical efforts as your mental efforts. What I mean by that is this—your inner dialogue and thoughts like “I will start tomorrow” can totally sabotage your efforts before you even get started.

Banish these seven destructive inner excuses and thoughts in order to clear the way for weight loss success…

1. I Don’t Have Time to Exercise

With work, family, social, and numerous other obligations, it’s understandable that time is difficult to come by. However, having time for exercise and making time for exercise are two very different things.

For instance, it’s easy to blame a busy schedule on weight gain when you have too many other things to do. However, it comes down to priorities and there will always be an excuse not to make time to fit exercise into your schedule. So do your health a favor by choosing to spend some quality time on an enjoyable physical activity. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll realize how much more energy you have to tackle all of the other things on your agenda.

2. I Don’t Have Money to Eat Healthy

Like finding no time for exercise, many folks find no time and no money to eat healthy. Now let’s get the facts straight—yes, it’s true that current food policies support inexpensive, high volume food production, but if you get most of your meals from restaurants instead of via your own kitchen, that’s a completely different story. While it might be easier and faster to swing through the local drive through or call for delivery pizza when you’re in a rush to eat—it’s not actually cheaper!

I’ll confer to the brains at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who actually took the time to crunch the numbers from 27 different U.S. studies when it comes to the cost of 2000-calorie healthy diets (made up of fruits, veggies, raw nuts, lean meat and fish, and whole grains) vs. 2000-calorie unhealthy diets (made up of processed meals, manufactured snacks, and refined grains) and found that eating healthier costs only $1.50 more than unhealthy diets per day. Of course, again, if you’re ordering out eating healthier meals at home is much cheaper overall.

3. I’ll Start Working Out Tomorrow

Tomorrow might look a lot more convenient than today. However, we all know that the promise of tomorrow hardly ever comes. Instead, this very common inner excuse is an unhealthy way to being a vicious cycle where we continually put off positive change.

Making positive change is very much about baby steps, which is why making tiny changes today—like going for a walk after dinner, packing a brown bag lunch instead of buying a street hot dog, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator all contribute to taking control and making healthful, impacting life changes.

4. I Worked Out…So I Can Have a Piece of Cake

When you justify eating junk following exercise, you’re not fooling anyone—especially not your waistline. In fact, physiology researchers from physiology the Medical College of Wisconsin, claim that it’s common to over-indulge that much more following exercise, which leads to far exceeding the calories your just burned during your workout.

Eventually, exercise will be it’s own reward because it will make you feel great. However, if you’ve just started exercising, it’s wise to seek out rewards that aren’t food related. For instance, if you did a full week or workouts, reward yourself with a mani-pedi or a massage.

5. A Tiny Piece of Chocolate Won’t Hurt

I can’t count how many times I used to promise myself that very same thing while starring down my daughter’s Halloween treat bag, only to end up eating a dozen mini chocolate bars. According to researchers at Northwestern, guilt and pleasure are repeatedly connected.

This means when we feel guilt, which tends to set in after the first bite of something indulgent, it actually causes us to eat more. Instead, my nutritionist recommended that when I allow myself an overindulgence once a week—like a piece of cheesecake or a fudge chocolate brownie, that I do it without guilt and enjoy every single last bite. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, concurs, claiming that if we allow ourselves to indulge from time to time, we’ll feel less guilt and be less apt to overdo it in the future.

6. It’s Unfair that I Have a Slow Metabolism and Have to Work Harder

A study in Psychology Today dub this type of inner talk “playing the victim game”. The idea that everyone else has it easier than you do just gives power to self-victimization—robbing you of power and becoming a dangerous cycle the more times you say it.

Sure, everyone’s body is different and comes from different genes, but many folks work plenty hard to take control of their health and wellness. Succumbing to defeatist inner voices will only make you see yourself as having zero control over your own life, and your self-esteem will plummet further as a result. Instead, take control by proving to yourself that you have the power to take control of your own health.

7. I Refuse to Deprive Myself

One can approach balanced eating from a negative or positive angle. For instance, if you view skipping the side of fries in favor of a veggie-filled soup or salad at lunchtime as food deprivation, you have no chance of keeping your goals.

On the other hand, if you choose to view healthier choices as just that—a positive choice that you have the power to make—you will easily pass up junk food in favor of wholesome foods and reach your goals successfully. Let’s face it, food deprivation is withholding a necessity, and opting for minestrone soup rather than a side of onion rings is actually doing your body a favor.  


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a weight loss expert who specializes in healthy living. She is dedicated to providing health-conscious individuals with the information they need to make great lifestyle choices that will make them look and feel better. In her spare time, Emily teaches Pilates at a local studio and enjoys activities like hiking, rowing and biking.