The Danger of Self-Sabotage in Weight Loss

Losing weight is never easy. Despite our best intentions, life often has a way of sabotaging our attempts. Whether it’s a holiday function, drinks with the girls, sports night at the bar with the guys, dinner at mom’s house or last-minute emergencies that keep you from your exercise routine, losing weight can be a struggle. So how can you regain control of your program and stop sabotaging your weight loss? It can all start with making a contingency plan and going from there. After all, the most successful weight loss begins with your mindset and there are certain types of individuals who seem bent on being their own worst enemies.

All or nothing thinkers

This type of person starts with a major rush and plans to fulfill their weight loss agenda no matter what. It’s do or die, all or nothing for them. Unfortunately, when setbacks strike, sometimes the “all” turns into “nothing” and the result is that one minor glitch can derail the whole program. When they blow their diet once, they throw up their hands and announce “That’s that!” and all their best intentions fall by the wayside.


To the overgeneralizer, it’s what “everyone does” or “everyone says,” even if it’s just the opinion of one person they respect. If “everyone says” that drinking a glass of skim milk is good for weight loss, this person will do that. Never mind lactose intolerance or other conditions that can cause bloating, discomfort and an extra pound on the scale. Weight loss is a personal journey: everyone loses weight differently and not everyone loses one or two pounds every week. It may take a month to lose that first pound or you may lose four pounds the first week. Not every weight loss program works for everyone, either. You have to find your own way of balancing life, diet and exercise without generalizing or relying on others to tell you what to do.


Labelers are folks who like to put tags on things. They label themselves as a “loser” if they fail to lose weight at the speed they believe they should. They label themselves as “winners” if they are able to achieve a goal. They look at others and may label them according to their appearance, and then look in the mirror and label themselves the same way. It’s really difficult to concentrate on losing weight when you’re busy trying to affix labels to everything and everyone!


We have all met them: The “oh poor me” people who walk around with a dark cloud hanging over their head. If they break a nail, it’s a tragedy. If the car breaks down on the way to a workout, everyone is out to get them, if they don’t lose weight the first week, they think, “I am never going to be able to do this.” This is the person who exemplifies how a mindset can make or break weight loss. Whether it’s a personal choice, an act of nature or something totally out of their control, it’s all about them.

Conclusion Jumpers

These are the “aha” people whose favorite form of exercise is jumping to conclusions. They are the ones who read a snippet of a scientific study or one article about weight loss and immediate embrace it without comprehending the big picture. They may also be the ones who say that someone is too old to lose weight, or that if someone is overweight it’s because of their lifestyle choices or their ethnicity. They sabotage their own weight  loss by thinking “Well, I have to walk four miles a day to lose a pound and there’s no way I can do that so I can’t lose weight,” or “It must be nice to be able to afford to join that weight loss program but I can’t swing that on my budget.” They don’t take into account the sacrifice, the energy and the dedication that has to go into losing weight and keeping it off.

You don’t have to be rich, famous or special to lose weight. You just have to be determined.