Tricking Yourself: It Never Works for Weight Loss

Your body is one smart customer and no matter what you say in your mind, your body knows what you are doing.

When I was 300 pounds, I tried valiantly to trick my body by playing mind games with myself.

Well, I’d reason, If I hide the empty chip bag or 50 “fun-size” Trix wrappers in the trash bag then those calories really won’t matter and it will be like I never ate them.

Another scenario:

If I eat half a pan of brownies before breakfast, I can probably burn off all those calories by being more “active” around the house. Then I can still have a lunch and dinner dessert.

And yet another scenario for your enjoyment:

Two extra pieces of pizza really don’t matter because I had a diet coke with them.

No matter what games we play in our minds to justify our food choices, our body knows. It doesn’t talk to us, but it knows. Your body responds to the amount of food you eat as well as the types of foods you eat.

If you eat a lot of junk food, then you often feel junky. Especially if you have eaten a clean diet for any length of time and then stuffed your face with Snickers or hamburgers. (Not that that has ever happened to me. . .)

If you continually eat more calories than your body needs, you will eventually gain weight. Your body knows and responds.

For me, the mind games had to stop completely during my final weight loss journey. I realized that the games were not “working,” I was steadily gaining weight, and I had to put a stop to trying to trick my body.

Quite honestly, this was very, very difficult to do. You may not remember, but I’ve shared before and told the story in my book of ordering the largest entree on the menu instead of the entree that sounded good to me, waiting until I got home from a party to gorge myself with food, and hiding candy in my closet. Those behaviors were ingrained in my mind and I found myself trying to revert back to those unhealthy and unproductive behaviors many times during my weight loss journey and even into weight maintenance.

At one point during my 14 months of weight loss, I had lost about 50 pounds, and John and I went to an office party. I still remember eating lightly at the dinner party and then heading straight for the refrigerator when John and I got home. He asked me if I was still hungry, to which I replied, “Not really.” He shrugged and went into another room. I stood there with my hand on the refrigerator door handle thinking, “There I go again, trying to act one way in public and then eating in private when no one watches. Who am I fooling?”

Of course I wasn’t fooling anyone and not hurting anyone but myself.

There is no room for unhealthy mind games and attempts to trick your body in weight loss or weight maintenance. The only thing these behaviors do it keep you sucked into the same unhealthy vortex that likely got you in an unhealthy position in the first place.

To stop those behaviors I had to practice, practice, practice. I had to bring into the open unhealthy food behaviors I had and acknowledge that I was standing in my own way when it came to losing weight and getting healthy. It was a process, but well worth the effort.

I’d love to have you share any thoughts you have on how you have stopped playing mind games when it came to eating or any strategies you currently use. Diane

4 thoughts on “Tricking Yourself: It Never Works for Weight Loss

  1. LakesClaire says:

    Eating in private/secret is a big problem of mine.
    It is something I do when I’m not hungry and know I don’t really need the food.
    It’s a habit I’m going to have to stop to enable myself to lose weight.

  2. Karen P (@gardengirl_kp) says:

    I had to stop eating sugars and grains. Otherwise, my slippery slope food addict voice would step in, take over and play the same mind games you played.

    I had to choose to be food sober and eat for only fuel purposes. Otherwise, it’s a game in my head.

    A very wise WW leader told me: your body keeps perfect track. So true.

  3. Diana says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post! It is SPOT-ON!
    I should have a bunch of Emmy’s sitting on my mantle for how much “acting” I can do in a day when it comes to eating! I can be all smug at work walking away from “treats” that were brought in by coworkers, only to head right to a vending machine or the cafeteria to down a candy bar…..or two with no one seeing me commit such a crime!

    I had most of my weight that I lost re-gained back while training for my marathon. I was CERTAIN that because I was doing 10, 15, even 20 mile runs, that I could eat ANYTHING and I did!

    I have yet come to my “aha” moment as to what why I don’t feel I’m worth it enough to take corrective action like you did.
    I was so happy and felt like a million bucks when I was in good shape. Then my self worth seems to have gone down the ole porcelain bowl.
    A good friend of mine once mentioned this comment to me…..”what you eat in private eventually shows in public”…..that phrase has STUNG ever since hearing it and I try and try and try to get out of it what I should, but things are just not clicking.

    Thank you for this post…..I’m sure I’ll be rereading it many times. Do you touch on this subject more in your book?

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