Guest Room

5 Logical Mistakes That May Be Keeping You from Losing Weight

By Charlotte on January 22, 2014 6:50 AM

By Susan Albers Psy.D. and author of Eat.Q.

Are you making a genuine and concerted effort to lose weight and eat healthier, yet the scale doesn't seem to budge? If so, you might be making these five common but critical mistakes. These errors are easy to make because the logical or intuitive answer seems right on target.


dralbers 300.jpg1. Focusing on Changing Food, Not Feelings

A lot of my clients start off talking entirely about the food they are or are not eating--limiting their sugar, reducing their red meat intake, etc. But I often talk about something entirely different.

Logically, it would seem that changing the type of food you put on your plate is key to weight loss. While it is very important, your mood is one of the most significant factors in determining what you choose to eat today. If you're angry at your significant other and having a rotten day, it's unlikely you'll choose an apple over a candy bar even if it is written on your food plan. Being able to cool down is your best bet in avoiding overeating or entirely abandoning your plans to eat healthier.

Psychologist Susan Albers specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness

Quick Fix: Before you start trying to lose weight/eat healthier, determine which moods help and hinder your efforts. Write down these four basic feelings--mad, glad, sad and scared. Drill down on the specific emotions that sabotage your efforts. For example, do you say "Who cares what I eat" when you're mad? Being angry is one of the main reasons people overeat. When a feeling comes up that derails your diet plans, try to manage the feeling not the food. You'll notice yourself making better food decisions in the long run.


2. Avoiding All Pleasure Foods

People trying to lose weight often try to stop eating many things, particularly treats. But not eating enough is one of the worst things you can do to lose weight. Your body needs food and carbohydrates, which turn into glucose. Glucose is necessary for making decisions. So it is "okay" to eat some pleasurable foods. If you don't, you risk bingeing on them. Remember--"what you resist persists."

Quick Fix: Repeat after me. Losing weight is not about "not eating." It's about not mindlessly eating and learning to eat pleasurable food mindfully. A recent study showed you can reduce how much you eat by 300 calories a day by eating more mindfully. When you have something good to eat, don't tell yourself "No." Instead, focus on eating it very slowly, taking small bites and savoring each bite. Notice how much more successful this will be than trying to muster up the herculean willpower to say no entirely.


3. Waiting Until the Stress Stops

Have you ever said to yourself, "I'll start eating better/losing weight after (fill in the blank of a stressful event). Unfortunately, life just doesn't present itself with a pause button. It's true that certain times are more stressful than others. But, stress is a constant just like death and taxes. Waiting until you are past it can permanently delay your weight-loss efforts.

Quick Fix: Stop waiting for life to calm down and begin working on coping with stress right now. Instead of trying to revamp your menu, work on remodeling your moods. Commit to unplugging completely for five minutes a day. Intentionally use that time to de-stress. With better stress management, changing your eating habits will be much easier.


4. Insisting Someone Join You

If you're waiting for your significant other or friend to change with you, stop! Getting support is fantastic and necessary. But insisting that someone else lose weight with you is a recipe for disaster.

Quick Fix: One reason you might want your significant other to change is because you feel he or she is sabotaging you---and you might be partially right. Your friend or significant other might be making you overeat without you even really realizing it. It's called, "behavioral mimicry." Almost like a line dance, people tend to unconsciously lock step with what those around them are doing and eating. One trick for avoiding this is to intentionally eat at a slower rate or stager your bites with those of your eating companion. Doing so can help you break away from following their lead.


5. Falling for Self-Sabotaging Thoughts

Thoughts like "What the heck" or "I'll start on Monday" can easily talk you out of making healthy choices. If that's happening, it might mean you need to rewire your response to these thoughts.

Quick Fix: Focus on what you will gain right NOW! Research indicates we're more motivated by what we'll gain immediately than what eating well will bring in the future (healthy body, weight loss, etc.). So bring yourself back to this moment and focus on the benefits of eating better in the next minute (for example, you won't feel guilty or bloated).

As you can see, these mistakes are easy to make. They are things we all do--including very smart people! But with a little effort, you can stop the cycle and open the door to results.


Eat Q 3D Book Image.jpgAbout the Author

Susan Albers Psy.D. is a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center. She specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness. In EAT.Q., she discusses how to change your relationship with food, avoid emotional eating, lose weight and keep the pounds off.

        Hardcover                    Kindle


You'll also enjoy:



Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

Continue Reading »

Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

Continue Reading »

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter: @BoomerBrief 

and @CharlotteBoomer

Follow Charlotte on Pinterest:  Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow Bob on Pinterest

Know someone battling cancer? Baylor Health Care System's Sammons Says... cancer blog is a great place to go for help. Here, you'll find information, resources, physicians, support groups and just about everything you need to help you navigate your way through this illness.

Now Trending 

We Like These Sites 

Senior Forums is a great place to get the news and share views on everything from hobbies and healthcare, to food, family & travel. 

Matt Drudge gets the goods and his site ain't bad either.

The Huffington Post is the gold standard of political blogs.

You don't have to live in Dallas to enjoy D Magazine.

More →