Hello and happy new year to you all!

I hope you had a wonderful last few weeks.

I wanted to talk today a little bit about stalls in weight loss that are due to mental blocks; I know that I’ve had to deal with this a lot in the last few years and many women still do have issues losing weight because of how they think about food, dieting, and their bodies.

I would say that 90% of the weight loss journey is a mental one.

For me, finding the keto diet and starting to truly understand how to nourish myself and eat the right foods was just the first step. I then had to deal with numerous habits and negative thought patterns in order to really push forward and move towards the body goals I had.

So, without further ado. Here are the 7 gnarly weight loss roadblocks and how to beat them!

Food Addiction

Strangely enough, food addiction is something that many people have to deal with (whether they are aware of it or not). From a very young age, food has been a source of comfort to us. Whether it’s because of unconscious memories of being cradled in our mother’s arms and sipping milk, or because of happy family memories of eating together.

Or even because of those times where a bowl of ice cream has cheered you up where nothing else seemed to. Eating food is inherently comforting and a very pleasurable experience. However, this can start to go a little wrong when we start to turn to food for comfort when in fact what we need is something else.

This emotional attachment to food can be a very powerful habit that, without even realising it, we reinforce on a daily basis every time we reach for food to make us feel better as opposed to for satisfying a genuine hunger.

This can easily lead to overeating and, if continued over a long period of time, can mess around with our hunger and satiety signals so that we end up not really knowing if we are truly hungry or not.

What to Do About it

The main thing to do is to get super conscious and aware of every time you reach for food.

Before you eat anything, ask yourself if you are truly hungry.

If, like I was, you find yourself unsure if you are actually hungry or not you can try waiting a little while. Have a glass of water to make sure you are not actually just thirsty.

One thing that really helped me was imagining a plate of fairly plain vegetables and asking myself if I would like to eat this. If the answer is no, I probably wasn’t actually hungry. If the answer was yes, I knew that what I was feeling was a genuine hunger and I would go ahead and make myself something to eat.



Negative Self Image

Before I started eating keto I was about 30lbs overweight and had been for several years. I know this isn’t an enormous amount, but it was certainly enough for me to have built up a bit of a negative self-image. I didn’t feel attractive and was shy about my body.

You’ve probably already heard that it’s important to accept your body as it is now in order to make the changes you want to make. This was hard for me and I kind of didn’t believe you had to do this. I felt that if I ‘succumbed’ to liking my body as it was, then I wouldn’t have the motivation to change.

In actual fact, it wasn’t until I accepted how I looked that changes started to happen. I came to realise that in order to make the changes that were required to change how I looked, I needed to do this from a place of love and not punishment. My journey had to be one of healing and health, not ‘making up for past mistakes.’

What to Do About it

You kind of need to take charge of your brain, and whether you believe it or not, start saying and thinking positive thoughts about your body as it is now – no matter what your size or health. It may feel strange and unnatural to begin with, but look yourself in the eye in the mirror and just say “I accept myself, I love my body, I am grateful for my body and I forgive myself for any harm I have done”.

Repeat this every day, and in a short time, you will be surprised to realise that you are actually starting to believe yourself.

Unconscious Habits

There are many unconscious habits that we may have picked up over the years and continue to reinforce without realising it. Habits that, when repeated day after day can really inhibit weight loss.

For example, picking at food in between meals, overeating, finishing the plate ever though we are full, eating without an appreciation of our meals, eating too quickly, and even thinking about food and our bodies or weight loss too much. (There are many other more worthwhile things to be thinking about!)

What to Do About it

The way to get rid of unwanted, unconscious habits is to first get conscious of them. A great way to do this is to keep a very detailed journal for 7 days.

During these 7 days don’t try to do anything differently. Give yourself permission to just be as you always have been, been watch and learn how you go about feeding yourself and eating every day for these 7 days.

You will be amazed at what you can learn about your habits and your thought patterns around food when you do this. After the 7 days, pick just ONE habit that you have noticed you have and resolve to change this over the next 30 days. Pick the one habit that you know will make the biggest difference to you and focus solely on reprogramming that habit by replacing it with a more healthy one.

For example, if you find that you always start to pick at food at around 4pm, schedule in a walk or a bath or something else that you enjoy at that time every day.

Lack of a Clear Goal

If you don’t know where you’re going – how on earth can you expect to get there?

So often, people make goals like ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to be fitter’. These are the kinds of goals that are essentially unobtainable because your mind cannot grasp exactly what this means. If you have a leg amputated, you will lose weight. But I’m pretty sure this isn’t what you’re after!

Having a crystal clear goal is supremely important. In exactly the same way that when you get in your car to drive somewhere, you have to know exactly where you are driving if you are to have any hope of actually getting there!

What to Do About it

Decide exactly how many pounds of excess fat you would like to lose and set a goal deadline. Or, if you’re like I was and don’t know exactly how much your body will weigh at the perfect weight, choose a clothes size you would like to be.

And don’t stop there. Picture exactly how you will look when you reach your goal. Think about how you will feel. How will you stand? How will you walk? How will you sit at the dinner table when you are your perfect weight and health?

Start to bring your goals closer to you by becoming the person you want to be right from the start. Walk as if you have already achieved your goal. Sit and eat as if you are already the perfect weight. Become the person you want to be right now, and you will pull that future self towards you.



Fear of Achieving What You Want

Sometimes people have an underlying, hidden, unconscious reason(s) that stop them from achieving the goal they are after. For me, I came to realise that I was a little scared of being the person I wanted to be and having the body I wanted to have. I had become used to hiding behind the fact that I was overweight. It felt scary to change something I had gotten used to over the years. This needed to change if I was to actually start achieving my goals.

What to Do About it

Fear is a bugger. As a general rule, it’s no good to anyone (barring healthy fears that stop you jumping off cliffs, for example). If you suspect that there is some kind of fear holding you back from achieving the body and health you want, it’s time to tackle┬áthose fears head on.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and picture yourself at your goal weight, and as you are doing this become acutely aware of how you are feeling. When you feel that pang of fear or anxiety, gently ask yourself what you are afraid of. It’s good to do this with a pen and paper and take notes.

When you get your reply, follow it through to its logical conclusion.

For example, if you receive a reply along the lines of ” I’m scared that when I am slim, I will get more attention”. Ask yourself, what will happen if you get more attention. If you get another fear based answer, ask yourself what will happen if that happens?

If you continue doing this, you will find that at some point you don’t have an answer – because there isn’t one! Most of our fears are arbitrary. This means that they are not based on anything real – they are plucked out of thin air!

When you face your fears in this way, it becomes very empowering because you are able to disintegrate them in one fell swoop by understanding that the fears are not based on anything that is actually real.

Relying on Will Power

Willpower is a limited resource. It is not (contrary to what is often thought), something that is always there which we can and should tap into all the time. We begin the day with a limited amount of willpower and through the day this decreases. Sleeping replenishes our will power.

If you are relying on willpower alone to do and eat the right things, you are fighting a (hard) losing battle.

What to Do About it

Once you are aware that will power is a limited daily resource, you can start to use your will power more wisely and stop beating yourself up for not having more of it!

Don’t fight battles you don’t have to.

So this means, don’t force yourself to eat kale just because it’s good for you and you should, when really you just want a plain omelette. Don’t force yourself to do weights when what you really want to do is go for a walk in the park. Choose your battles wisely.

If you are hungry, prepare yourself a delicious snack – don’t force yourself to wait, again, because you think you should. If you are going out to eat later and you know everyone will be eating pizza, save all your will power for this meal. This means not using your will power up during the day. If you can’t be bothered to make vegetables for breakfast – don’t. If you want to rest on the sofa in the afternoon – do.

Be gentle and loving and allowing of yourself as much as possible and save your willpower for when you really need it.

Self Pity

This one actually links very closely to the ‘will power roadblock’ I spoke about above. On the days where I ran out of willpower very early on because I wasn’t choosing my battles wisely, I would often then start to feel sorry for myself. And when I felt sorry for myself, I would want to treat myself or throw in the towel.

Or I would start to feel like I was sacrificing every day, ‘giving up’ foods and ‘missing out’.

These feelings of self-pity are completely unhelpful and only lead to feelings of wanting to ‘give up’.

What to Do About it

Whenever you notice that you are feeling sorry for yourself, immediately snap your mind back to your goal image. Talk to yourself, remind yourself or where you are going and what you are going to achieve. The truth is you are not giving up anything, you are only gaining perfect health, an amazing body, increased energy and all of the good stuff that you have decided you deserve (and rightly so!).

So those are my 7 gnarly mental weight loss roadblocks and what to do about them!

I hope you found this useful. I’d love to hear from you – what mental weight loss roadblocks are you facing (and overcoming) right now?

Framed image linking to ketogenic diet guides and plans

4 thoughts on “7 Gnarly Mental Weight Loss Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them”

  1. I have been on this keto diet for a month. I am doing something wrong because I have only lost 5 pounds. I eat two slices of bacon in the morning. Lunch lettuce with 3 slices of cheese 2 bacon bleu cheese dressing, snack string cheese, dinner meat and veggies no corn. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hey Jeanie, at first glance it looks to me like you’re not eating enough! And perhaps not getting enough fats in. It may sound counterintuitive, but going too low in calories will put a halt to any weight loss. Are you able to test whether you’re in ketosis or not? And how are you feeling overall? Are you sleeping enough? How are your stress levels? These things can all affect weight loss. If you make sure you’re getting enough calories and fat, and are sleeping enough and keeping stress levels low, you could try dropping dairy to see if this helps. Joan.

  2. Hey Joan,
    I have a sensitivity to fat, not so much myself (I love fatty foods!), but my organs. I had my gallbladder removed a little over six years ago, and I’ve had pancreatitis recently. When I eat moderate to large amounts of fat I get really bad stomach pain and low energy and was advised by my doctor to eat low fat. But I’ve read that in order to get your body burning fat on the low carb/keto diet you have to “flood your body” with fat, which is impossible for me because I would end up hospitalized. I have been on the low carb diet for three days now and am curious as to what I can do to get fat adapted without inflicting bodily harm on myself. Any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Chelsea

    1. Hey Chelsea! I haven’t directly had experience with pancreatitis or gallbladder removal… However, from what I’ve heard, taking digestive enzymes to help break down the fats you are eating can be very helpful. ­čÖé

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