You Have Real Power Over Your Life – Avoiding The Denial Game When Dieting


For anyone who wants to overcome bad habits, being held accountable is an important part of the process. When implementing a diet and exercise plan, it is easy to attribute your stalled progress to a variety of factors and become comfortable making excuses.

However, remaining in a state of denial and failing to account for your contribution to the success or failure of your plan will almost certainly guarantee that you will not achieve your desired results. If your attempts to follow a diet and exercise plan are going nowhere, you may be in denial. Here are the signs that you may be, and what you can do to fix it. 

You Have A Lot of Convenient Excuses

Denial is a defense mechanism designed to help us maneuver potentially painful situations. According to the Mayo Clinic, “If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life. In some cases, initial short-term denial can be a good thing, giving you time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue.”

While this coping mechanism can be a helpful tool to adjust to stress, it also increases your chances of failing to make positive changes. If you are in denial about your role in sabotaging your weight loss issues, you may find yourself making a lot of excuses. You may begin to blame your metabolism for your stalled weight loss, or cope with your changing body by reasoning that manufacturers are switching sizes on clothing. 

You Are Ignoring Your Health

People who are in denial about their weight may put off going to the doctor for check ups. If you’re significantly overweight, it could be affecting your health; however, if you are in denial about gaining weight, you may skip regular doctor visits, because they check your weight as part of your vitals. It doesn’t help that doctors have a rhetorical reputation for being unkind to people who are overweight, so thinking about the checkup itself can cause anxiety.

Being overweight can impact your risk for health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, so regular checkups are important. Rather than seeing your checkup as something to dread, you can use them to foster a dialogue with your doctor, which can help you become more accountable. 

Emerging From Denial

Accepting the fact that you’ve gained weight and that you may be contributing to your own diet sabotage can be scary. But it doesn’t mean that you need to chastise yourself for not sticking with your diet. It simply means that you need to acknowledge your role in sabotaging your weight loss plan so you can take positive steps to resolve the issue.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following advice on moving through denial: “If you can’t make progress dealing with a stressful situation on your own — you’re stuck in the denial phase — consider talking to a mental health provider. He or she can help you find healthy ways to cope with the situation rather than trying to pretend it doesn’t exist.” If you think you’re in denial, try enlisting the help of supportive friends to keep you motivated, or join a support group that encourages accountability without being judgmental.

Acknowledge your role in your own success

If you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, you may be tempted to gloss over your own mistakes, such as skipping workouts or grazing on office candy. But doing so makes it more likely that you will succeed. You don’t have to beat yourself up, but you do need to acknowledge your role in your own success. One of the best ways to move through denial is to enlist the help of someone who is supportive, yet will keep you on track. By admitting your own role in your success, you are more likely to make it stick.