Have you ever found yourself with good intentions about your diet but always seem to slip back into the habit of eating unhealthy food? You really want to make progress with your weight loss, but you just keep practicing diet sabotage?
Well, you’re not alone! So many of us really want to eat a better diet and lose weight, but struggle to stick with it and stay consistent.
Maybe you wake up every morning committed and focused on eating only healthy foods. You have a great, healthy breakfast and feel so proud of your good choices.
But then by the end of the night, you’ve totally gone off the rails and your working your way through a bag of chips or cookies instead of going to bed.
Or you might be good all week long. You ate well and are even down a pound or two. But then the weekend comes and it’s nothing but a blur of junk food, alcohol, and poor eating decisions.
This cycle of good choices and diet sabotage can really leave you feeling defeated. Like there is something wrong with you because you just can’t seem to stick with the healthy choices you know you want to make for yourself.
Well, let me reassure you, that there is nothing wrong with you! You are absolutely capable of making a healthy change in your life.
I’m going to go over 3 common ways people practice diet sabotage and how to stop doing it. Learning to master these actions will go a long way toward helping you see the progress that you want with your weight loss.
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3 Ways You Practice Diet Sabotage & How to Stop!
Diet Sabotage #1: You Don’t Plan or Journal Your Food
The first way that I often see people practice diet sabotage is that they don’t plan their food or journal what they’ve eaten. So many people just go along hoping they will make healthy eating choices throughout the day.
Trying to figure out what healthy choices you can eat while also dealing with work stress, trying to get your kids out the door, and being tired from not getting enough sleep the night before is hard!
And that would be just trying to eat healthy for breakfast. What about lunch, dinner, and snacks?
Eating healthy on a regular basis without some sort of concrete planning is like hoping you arrive at a new destination without looking at the directions. You might get there, but odds are pretty good you’re going to make a wrong turn or two and get pretty lost.
A similar thought process applies to journaling your food. If what you ate this past week didn’t help you lose weight, you probably want to make some different eating decisions this week.
But if you haven’t taken the time to write down what you ate, how are you going to know what specific eating habits that you need to address??
What You Should Do Instead
If you’re ready to stop the cycle of diet sabotage, you need to start planning your food ahead of time and tracking what you eat. You want to have a solid plan each day for how you’re going to stick with your diet and you need a record of what’s working and what isn’t.
Planning your meals
Plan your meals at least 24 hours in advance. Write down everything you plan to eat that day. It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan to lose weight, just a realistic improvement over your current diet.
When you write down a plan, you are 42% more likely to follow through on it. Imagine how much easier it will be to stick to your diet with 42% more motivation and focus behind your efforts.
Journal what you eat
Write down everything that you eat – the good, the bad, and the ugly. You need a record of your eating habits and behaviors. This is invaluable advice when you need to sort out where the diet sabotage is occurring.
Are you struggling with late-night snacking? Do you graze all day? Are you binge eating on the weekends?
What are you go-to stress foods? Which foods do you have a hard time resisting? Do you eat in response to strong emotions or are social situations a struggle?
Journaling your food will help you pinpoint the areas you are struggling with. Then you can get to work creating new eating habits.
Diet Sabotage #2: You Tell Yourself a Little Bit Doesn’t Hurt
Another common form of diet sabotage that I see people struggle with is that they will often tell themselves “A little bit won’t hurt,” when facing temptation.
When you walk by the pantry and see the open bag of cookies, you take a few and think “A few cookies won’t hurt.”
Or you sit down on the couch at the end of the day and your hubby sits down next to you with a bag of chips and offers you some. You think to yourself “A few chips are ok. It’s only a little bit.”
In isolation, these individual moments don’t seem like a big deal. But when you continue to make choices like that over and over again throughout the day every day, it really starts to add up.
Every time you justify eating unhealthy food or overeating because “a little bit doesn’t matter,” you reinforce that habit and that practice. And it becomes something you will be more likely to do the next time a little temptation comes your way.
A little bit doesn’t hurt. But a little bit repeated often becomes a lot and a lot makes a big difference in your weight loss.
What You Should Do Instead
The next time that thought pops in your head and tempts you to sabotage your diet, take a second to pause and think through your decision. Here are some of the thoughts that I use to catch myself when that thought comes up:
How many times have I thought that already today?
If this food is important to me, I can plan it for tomorrow. If it’s not, do I really need to slow down my weight loss progress for it right now?
Every time I give in to this temptation I make it harder to say no next time.
A little bit adds up over time.
“A little bit doesn’t hurt,” is a lie we tell ourselves to help justify something we want at the moment. Learning to catch that thought and stop it in its tracks will go a long way to stopping the diet sabotage.
Diet Sabotage #3: When You Make a Mistake, You Say Scr*w it!
The last common form of diet sabotage that I see people make is that when they have a slip-up in their diet they pretty much say “Forget it! I have already messed up. I might as well go all in.”
It looks like this. You eat a great breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Dinner comes around and instead of eating the chicken salad you had planned, your hubby suggests getting a pizza instead.
You eat the pizza knowing it’s not on the plan. You decide the diet is blown for today, so you might as well eat whatever you want.
You throw in a couple of drinks, eat a handful of breadsticks, and then grab some ice cream as you head for the couch.
This behavior often stems from the idea that a successful diet requires perfection and that you are either all in or all out.
Here’s the truth. A successful diet is built on consistency NOT perfection. It’s not about making healthy choices all of the time. It’s about consistently making healthy choices MOST of the time.
What You Should Do Instead
Here’s how to break this diet sabotage cycle. First off, accept ahead of time that mistakes are going to happen. Sometimes you aren’t going to make a healthy eating choice, but that doesn’t mean that your diet is ruined.
It’s like taking 1 step off the path. All that’s required is to take 1 step back and you’re immediately back on the path.
When you go crazy after a mistake, instead of taking 1 step off the path, you full-out run as far off as you can get. And then you’re left feeling like crap looking at how much farther you have to go now to get back on track.
When you make a mistake on your diet follow these steps:
Accept the decisions you made without shame or judgment
Figure out why you made that decision
Create a plan for how you can make a better choice next time
Decide what you’re next best decision is
That’s it! No drama. No crazy eating binges because now you can finally get it all out of your system. No need to recommit again tomorrow or Monday.
Conclusion on 3 Ways You Practice Diet Sabotage & How to Stop!
So that’s 3 common ways people practice diet sabotage and how to stop the cycle. Kick these habits to the curb and you will see more success with your diet and more progress with your weight loss.
If you are struggling with your weight loss and need more in-depth support and information to dive into the behaviors and actions that are holding you back, I would love to work with you in my weight loss coaching and accountability group. I help moms get past the basic diet advice and develop the behaviors, habits, and mindset that help them lose the weight for good.
What forms of diet sabotage are you struggling with or that you’ve overcome? Comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more weight loss and dieting tips and advice.
Looking for more healthy eating tips?
Healthy Eating Habits:
- Emotional Overeating: how to recognize it and how to stop it
- How to Eat Healthy When Your Family Doesn’t: 8 Practical Tips
- How to Break Unhealthy Eating Habits in 6 Steps
- How to Stop Mindless Snacking
- Tips on How to Stop Late Night Eating
- 15 Quick and Easy Tips for Drinking More Water
- Overeating vs. Satisfied: How to Tell if You’re Eating Too Much
- 8 Secrets to a Successful Diet
- How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation
- Does Counting Calories Work? – The Surprising Truth!
- 21 Small Diet Changes to Lose Weight for Good
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me