The feeling: Your life is so stressful you either don’t have time to work on healthy eating, or think healthy eating will make you more stressed.
The solution: Focus on a healthy meal plan. “Staying in control of eating during busy times helps you feel more in control in general—which actually reduces your stress, ” she explains. Losing control can increase your anxiety, so prioritize activities like meal planning and grocery shopping. “You will have busy times for the rest of your life, so you need to learn the skill of making healthy eating a top priority, ” she adds.
The Entitlement Eating Trap
The feeling: You believe you deserve to comfort yourself with food.
The solution: A typical sabotaging thought of dieters is: “I’m upset; I deserve to comfort myself with food.” Food can be an immediate comfort, but when you’re finished eating, you still have the problem that upset you in the first place and now you feel badly for having gotten off track (not to mention queasy from one too many Cheetos). A healthier solution? Hit the gym or pound those emotions out on the pavement. (And try these Surprising Ways to Slim Down Comfort Food Favorites.)
The Killing Time Trap
The feeling: You turn to food when you’re bored, tired, or procrastinating.
The solution: When you want to reach for a snack, ask yourself where the urge to eat is coming from. If there’s actually an empty, rumbling sensation in your stomach, you’re probably actually hungry. But more often than not, you’re responding to physiological cues in your mouths, throats, or upper body—which means you’re not hungry but just have an urge to eat. And if it’s not actually hunger, ask yourself what it is you really need—since it’s not food. Recognition is the hard part—the solution is simple: If you’re bored, find a way to entertain yourself. If you’re tired, sleep or a break for a brisk walk. If you’re procrastinating, get started already!
The Buzz Kill Trap
The feeling: You feel responsible for making others feel better about what they’re eating or drinking.
The solution: Dieters sometimes think if they pass on the cheesy dip or sugary cocktails, it’ll put a damper on everyone else’s experience. But it’s not your responsibility to make others feel better about what they consume. Think of it this way: If you had a severe peanut allergy and you would feel completely entitled to pass on the peanut butter cookies everyone else was indulging in, no matter how disappointed anyone else might be. Losing weight and being happier and healthier are completely legitimate reasons to eat in a healthy way, no matter how other people might feel about it.