Dr. Kim: Are you a Sugar Addict?

Are you a Sugar Addict

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

· Do you often wonder why you love sugary foods so much (i.e., cookies, cakes, chocolate, candy, soda, cereal, ice cream, lattes laden with syrups, etc.)
· Does sugar run your life more that you would like to admit?
· Does it concern or even scare you to feel so obsessive and compulsive about your desire for sugar?
· Have you ever stated, “Starting tomorrow, I am not going to have sugar anymore” only to cave in that afternoon or within a few days?

Below are 10 signs, which indicate you may be a sugar addict:

1. You make excuses for your consumption of sugar.
2. You lie about how much sugar you consume
3. You feel controlled by sugar
4. You get moody, irritable, frantic, and cranky if you do not have your regular “dose” of sugar
5. You often make special trips to the store to satisfy your sugar craving.
6. You frequently reward yourself with something sweet.
7. You may have a secret sugar stash, or when alone, you binge on sugary foods.
8. You have tried multiple times to stop eating sugar, and you just cannot stop.
9. You feel rage if someone ate your sugary treat without your permission.
10. You often experience sugar hangovers (i.e., headache, irritability, and depressed mood only relieved by something sweet).

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a sugar addict. Some of you, up until now, may not have used the word addict to describe your attachment to sugar. Addiction is a powerful word. But, as most of you know, sugar is a powerful substance. In fact, research with animals suggests that sugar is more addictive than cocaine and heroine. Yes, you read that correctly… more addictive than cocaine and heroine. Thus, research states that if you consume high quantities of sugar for long periods of time, your brain is affected like that of a cocaine addict. This is because heroine, cocaine, and sugar cue the same circuitry in the brain. Furthermore, researchers also found that sugar withdrawal is very similar to heroin withdrawal, with similar changes in brain chemicals and behavior. Withdrawal from sugar includes irritability, anxiety, and depression, which is followed by cravings and only relieved by consuming additional sugar.

So, after reading this, you may be thinking is there any hope? The answer is YES! Below are 5 helpful tips to break free from your sugar addiction:

1. Give yourself non-sugary rewards
As previously mentioned, current research suggests consuming a significant amount of sugar enhances the reward center in the brain, thus making it grueling to break your sugar addiction. This is extremely important because once you remove sugar from your diet you will need to find non-sugary rewards that also enhance the reward center in the brain. Here are some healthier rewards that have helped many:

· Guilt-free you time! Begin by giving yourself at least 30 minutes to engage in any activity you want (i.e., watch mindless television, play a computer game, sleep, read a magazine, etc.)
· Calling a friend
· Listening to your favorite music
· Playing or Cuddling with your pet(s)
· Exercising
· Soaking in a hot bubble bath
· Going out to meet a friend (maybe seeing a funny movie)
· A massage at a spa
· Doing something new

2) Naturally boost your dopamine with these healthy foods

Below is a list of foods, drinks, and spices known to increase dopamine:

· Nuts
· Apples
· Avocado
· Coffee
· Green leafy vegetables
· Green tea
· Turmeric
· Cheese

Also, if you must satisfy your sugar craving with a sweet treat, reach for berries instead. Berries have a low glycemic index, which means they produce very little sugar in your body. Most importantly, they will not reinforce your sugar addiction, and they are allowed on RM3®!!!

3) Don’t replace one addictive behavior for another
It is all too easy to replace one addiction for another. Unfortunately, this happens way too often when people attempt to reduce or eliminate sugar. Please be careful about looking for unhealthy behaviors that give you the same temporary euphoric feeling that sugar does. Try to avoid alcohol or shopping, especially if spending can be problematic for you. Try using one of the behaviors listed above. Keep trying new healthier behaviors until you find one that works for you!

4) Be aware of the “I’ll only have one” (denial) game
If you eliminate sugar from your diet, after about 3-5 days, you will find your sugar cravings nearly disappear and you will feel surprisingly satisfied without sugar. Until… one day, you arrive at an event that has an irresistible selection of decadent desserts, so you tell yourself you will only have one. At this point, you may have been able to stop at one. However, the next day, your body is craving sugar again, so you indulge again “just this once.” But… the next day it happens again, and then again, and so on… back to square one, until your pants don’t fit again and you feel depressed and defeated. Does this pattern sound familiar? If you are a true sugar addict, you may not be able to just have one. Try to be honest with yourself so you don’t sign up for the “I’ll only have one” (denial) game.

5) Do NOT have it in your home!
This is a very simple rule and it really works. If you don’t have it available you can’t eat it! Try to resist running to the store to purchase whatever you were craving. Research suggests a craving only lasts 30 minutes. Before you choose to make a run to the grocery store or bakery, try distracting for 30 minutes. Chances are you will forget about the sweet treat and you will have tolerated your craving. That reward feels better than any sugary treat!!

Most importantly, please remember that breaking your addiction to sugar takes time and patience. If you fall off the wagon yet again, try to avoid beating yourself up. Just talk yourself to success and start the process over again. Feel free to set up an appointment with me so that I can begin to help you break free from your sugar addiction.
Don’t try harder, try different!


1. Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin, L., & Ahmed, S. H. (2007). Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward. PloS one, 2(8), e698.]
2. Ahmed, S. H., Avena, N. M., Berridge, K. C., Gearhardt, A. N., & Guillem, K. (2013). Food addiction. In Neuroscience in the 21st Century (pp. 2833-2857). Springer New York.
3. Tang, D. W., Fellows, L. K., Small, D. M., & Dagher, A. (2012). Food and drug cues activate similar brain regions: a meta-analysis of functional MRI studies. Physiology & behavior, 106(3), 317-324.
4. Avena, N. M., Rada, P., & Hoebel, B. G. (2008). Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(1), 20-39.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: The Real Horror of Halloween – Sugar!

The Real Horror of Halloween - Sugar

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

“Every year, starting with Halloween, I witness many of you step on the scale in frustration as it inches up 2-3 lbs, all because you fell prey to a plastic orange pumpkin filled with candy. Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday weight gain cycle, which continues through Thanksgiving and Christmas and can result in an average holiday weight gain of 7–12 pounds! Although candy is in no shortage the other 364 days of the year, binging on “fun-sized” sweets the night of October 31st has proven to be a yearly ritual for people everywhere, dieters or not.” – Dr. Suzanne Bentz D.O., Owner & Medical Director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss

While excusing yourself from the sugar celebration at Halloween may not be fun, neither is coping with a sugar hangover and the accompanied weight gain. In fact, the aftermath of your sugar binge is most likely scarier than the Halloween costumes!

Thankfully, there are ways to keep your hands out of the orange pumpkin so you can avoid packing on extra pounds. Below are some helpful tips that can help you to avoid the temptation of Halloween candy and keep your Halloween healthy!

1. First things first, always purchase candy you do not like. Do NOT buy your favorite candy. This way you will not be tempted to dig in.

2. Do NOT buy any candy until the very last minute. There will be little time to indulge and then you can hand them out quickly! Get rid of all of the remaining candy! Do NOT keep it in your house.

3. If you are a skilled mindful eater (which most of us are not) savor ONE piece of your favorite candy per day. Decide ahead of time what time of day you most crave the sweet treat and save your treat for that time. Then, slowly savor and experience it.

Remember, it is ok to indulge your sweet tooth once in a while, as deprivation is not the solution. Learning mindful eating behaviors is the secret and it takes some practice. However, if you know yourself, and you know you are unable to just stop at one, do not try this exercise yet as it may trigger you to fall off of the wagon. In time, and with practice, you will learn to just have one.

4. Try chewing sugarless gum. Sugarless gum gives you a burst of sweetness for very little calories.

5. Replace candy with healthier choices. Choose to indulge in bowl of fruit or veggies in lieu of the candy. You will thank yourself later.

6. Get creative. Distribute healthier options that children will enjoy, such as Halloween stickers, crayons, pencils, fake tattoos, or even scary Halloween jewelry (i.e, plastic spider rings).

7. Be honest. If you notice you are bargaining with yourself (i.e., I’ll eat the candy and forgo dinner), or if you start telling yourself that you will eat candy today and start eating healthy again tomorrow, you are playing with fire. “Tomorrow” rarely happens and you begin your downward holiday season spiral.

8. Save your empty candy wrappers and count them. Yes… I said count them! It is so easy to go into denial and binge on “fun-size” candy bars. If you save the wrappers, it will keep you out of denial and highly aware of how many you consumed.

9. Manage your hunger by continuing to follow your meal plan. Your pre-planned meals will keep you feeling satisfied and make you less likely to raid the candy bowl.

10. Sip on water or a low calorie beverage. Keep your hands and mouth busy by drinking water or tea.

Here are some scary facts about popular October treats:

The Real Horror of Halloween - Sugar

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

The Whole Family can Practice Good Health

The Whole Family can Practice Good Health

Family game nights, banishment of the television set, limited electronic access, and intense scheduling are all things people think they need to do to build and nurture a close-knit family structure, but what if I told you that these things were not the case?

What if I told you that the family dynamic you want is more easily attainable and administrable than any of these things? I’m talking about family time around the dinner table. Yes, the kind where everyone sits around the table to enjoy a meal at the conclusion of each day. The kind where everyone is present; where everyone can be seen and heard all at the same time. This isn’t a fictitious scenario created by the TV & Film industry, I’m talking about families just like yours and mine opting out of a meal in front of the television or without their phone in their hand to enjoy quality time with one another.

Family dinners are worth so much more than what people tend to assume. Gone are the days that communal dinners were for convenience. They bring families closer together, encouraging conversation, communication, and building trust. Family is the sacred center of life for families of all different races, backgrounds, and religions across the globe, a true testament to how impactful our relatives really are. You don’t get to choose your family, but you do get to choose your relationship with them, and most everyone would agree that a positive one is better than a negative one. Family dinners can be a great catalyst to build strong family bonds.

The dinner table was not only a place to eat, but a place to reflect upon everyone’s daily lives, voice opinions in a safe environment, and to enjoy the company of everyone around the table.

Between freeway traffic and driving the kids to practice, people in this day in age seem to be finding themselves in a time crunch more often than not. It is tempting at times to give in to the convenience of drive-thrus and dollar menus, however, be forewarned: Eating out, and even eating alone, has the potential to hinder your weight loss journey tremendously.

There is irrefutable evidence that family dinners reap mammoth physical and psychological benefits for all parties involved, so much so that it may be hard to resisthaving family dinners after finding out! It is important to remind yourself that your journey at Tucson Medical Weight Loss is not only concerning weight, but lifestyle as well.

The biggest benefit to an individual trying to lose weight is that home-cooked meals have the power of portion control and therefore caloric intake. Many people struggle with the obligation to stuff themselves by finishing off that oversized burger or munching on complimentary chips and side of fries, even after hunger has been relieved, just because they don’t want food to go to waste.

Self-serving meals has the potential to decrease caloric intake by up to 60%, as restaurants tend to supersize meal portions, and in turn waistlines as well. Meal preparation is crucial to stay on track with your weight loss goals. It is rare that restaurants will list every ingredient used in a single dish on the menu, so the healthiest (and safest) route to take is to dine in the comfort of your own home with the company of family, who have the opportunity to act as positive reinforcement as well as conversational partners.

Having others present to hold you accountable is proven to keep individuals engaged and responsible in their choices as they pertain to goals. Involving a third party will incentivize weight loss or maintenance, as there is someone other than yourself that you have the potential to impress with regular updates. Think of yourself as a role model for the rest of the family – it would be hypocritical to endorse healthy living without being able to set a good example. Showcasing healthy food options and making balanced meal choices will get the whole family living the Tucson Medical Weight Loss Way in no time.

The benefits of family meals do not stop at individual health. Studies show that children who take part in family dinners are far less likely to engage in truant behavior, and are 40% more likely to receive A’s in school than their peers who dine solo. Along similar lines, research has also shown that dinnertime conversation is more beneficial than reading young children books, boosting their knowledge of “rare words” by 86%. Also, it is no surprise that families that engage in families dinner reported that they felt family dinners were beneficial to family dynamic.

With big brands dishing massive budgets towards marketing and advertising our kids are all at risk for trading in their healthy breakfast & lunches for the convenience of the “dollar menu.” Marketing tactics of these mega companies promote that the deal is worth the caloric intake with their irresistible imagery and celebrity endorsement. The taglines and bright logos are well thought through plans of attack by branding professionals to take over your subconscious to buy that specific meal because it’s “Mmm Mmm Good” or because it’s in the hands of a Kardashian sister. Implementing a dedicated safe place in your home, such as the dinner table, will set a standard for your children and your children’s children that healthy living is important.

If anything, family dinner is a great opportunity to get to know everyone just a little bit better. Sometimes, we forget that there are people other than ourselves, and at the table is a great opportunity to wind down and let out frustrations or share accomplishments and milestones. It is important to remind ourselves that the home is not just a place to sleep at night, but a place to nurture relationships among one another. Consider making it one of your goals to hold healthy family dinners on a more regular basis, even if you do it already. There really is no downside!

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: Just Say “No” to Food Pusher

Just Say No to Food Pusher

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

What is Assisted Sabotage?

Have you ever noticed that there is usually one person in every crowd who tries to destroy your diet? It almost seems as if every time you are on track, they are there right there offering you a doughnut, some chips, pizza, or even an extra serving of an unhealthy food they know you are avoiding? These people are known as “food pushers” and are attempting assisted sabotage.

Some examples of assisted sabotage:
· As you are losing weight, out of nowhere, a co-worker who knows you are avoiding sweets offers you a doughnut.
· A friend, who knows you are watching your weight, begs you to share a pizza or a slice of cake.
· While sitting on the couch watching television, your husband who is wanting you to lose weight, rips open a bag of chips in front of you and asks, “want some?”

What ever happened to getting support? Doesn’t it seem as if your friends, coworkers, and/or loved ones are trying to make you eat and stay overweight? You maybe asking “WHY?”

Reasons for Assisted Sabotage
There are several reasons why your “so-called” helpers are attempting to sabotage your progress. The most common reason I hear is they feel jealous and guilty. You are losing weight and getting in shape and they are not. Tempting you with beckoning foods to “fall off the wagon” means you are normal again and they can feel comfortable and guard the “status quo.”

Another reason may be because they miss the old you. Co-workers miss the baked goods you used to bring to work or the “happy hours” you used to previously attend. Or, your spouse or significant other may miss eating out with you or sharing desserts. When you are living a healthy lifestyle you change (for the better), therefore, your relationships may change and your helpers begin to miss the old you.

Moreover, sometimes the people in our lives associate food with love. As such, if you are no longer eating what loved ones have prepared, they may feel as if you do not love as much or they are not as important to you.

Less frequently, a reason for assisted sabotage may be the saboteur really doesn’t know what they are doing. Maybe they have never had a weight problem and they think it is ridiculous for you to be concerned about what you eat. Maybe your helpers just aren’t thinking and do not know how to give support?
Regardless of the reasons, you want people in your life to support and encourage you. Learn how to identify an assisted saboteur and begin to defend against diet saboteurs.

Signs of Assisted Sabotage

Learn how to identify when others are attempting to prevent you from your weight loss goals. Below are a few signs that can indicate assisted sabotage:

· Making remarks like:
o “You have to try this”
o “One bite won’t hurt.”
o “You look too skinny.”
o “Everyone deserves to spurge once in a while.”
o “It’s you birthday, you have to have some cake.”
o “There is one cookie left, do you want it?”
o “You are not as funny since you have lost weight!”
o “We are on vacation, have some!”
o “What, my lasagna is not good enough for you anymore?”
· Repeatedly giving you gifts of chocolate, candy, or other fat laden foods.
· Insisting on having “their foods” around to include chips, sweets, and high caloric foods.
· Encouraging you to go back to old eating patterns so you may experience “togetherness.”
· Becoming jealous when your new body shape gets attention

Defend Yourself Against Assisted Sabotage

Before you get angry and defensive, try to give saboteurs the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they truly don’t know what they are doing.

However, when it is obvious that someone is getting in the way of your success, use these techniques to prepare for the pushers!

· Just say NO!

For some, this may be the hardest thing to do. I want to let you know it is ok for you to just say “No, thank you!” You do not have to say anything else. In fact, you do not owe them an explanation. They may continue to pressure you, so continue to say, “no, thank you” repeatedly until they get the message.

If you typically feel guilty after saying no to someone, you most likely suffer from the “disease to please.” The “disease to please” may be making you overweight; So, I am giving you permission to throw out your guilt! You have the right to say no!

· Give an Explanation

If just saying, “No, thank you” is too difficult, try giving an honest explanation as to why you are choosing to avoid what they are offering. Some examples include:

o “Thank you for offering me__________. I would really like to eat that, but I’m following my meal plan and I am feeling great. Improving my health is important to me because want to be healthier not only for me but for my family, as well.”

o “No thank you. My doctor said I must lose weight.”

o “No, thank you. I have already eaten.”

o “Not right now. I will be eating shortly and I do not want to spoil my appetite.”

o “Not just yet, I am going to wait for a little while.”

· Take it and leave it

Another option is to take the food and say thank you… BUT, wrap it up and either give it away or throw it out!

I know the thought of wasting food is hard for many of you. Especially if you were taught that there were starving children in some far away country. Or, maybe some of you were forced to be members of the clean your plate club. Nevertheless, you do not have to follow these rules any longer. In fact, these rules may be the very reason you are overweight!

If these methods do not work, do your best to ignore the diet saboteur’s comments. Or, if possible, avoid these saboteurs until you feel more secure and confident in your ability to handle them.

“Whether you are suffering from self-sabotage or assisted sabotage, the end result is just the same…diet destruction, disappointment, regret, and unfulfilled expectations. Make this time different and overcome sabotage once and for all! I always say, don’t try harder, try different. Now is the time to stop making excuses and take personal responsibility for your weight loss. Stay in charge of your own behavior and become your biggest ally. You can do it and we are here to help you throughout your journey!” – Dr. Suzanne Bentz, D.O., Owner & Medical Director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: Self-Talk Yourself to Success!

Self Talk Yourself to Success

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

3 Steps to Stop Self-Sabotage
This is a simple and extremely effective process to help you stop self-sabotage.

1. Identify the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors

In order to create change, you will first need to become aware of what it is that is preventing you from moving forward and attaining your desired weight loss goals. Do you have cruel and punitive self-talk? Are you aware that you are emotionally eating? Are you using food to tolerate the hassles of daily life? Do you suffer from low self-esteem, and/or currently hold the belief that you are going to fail again? Are you using food as a reward or as a way to celebrate? It is important to become aware of your daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and their subsequent consequences. Listen to what you say to yourself about losing weight. Make a list of all of your thoughts and behaviors that are currently sabotaging your weight loss.

2. Replace it with new positive thoughts and/or a new way of responding

Once you have identified the thoughts and behaviors that are in your way, you can now make the necessary changes to help you succeed. If your negative thoughts are in your way, it is time to create more positive ones. Stop being your own worst enemy and become your own cheerleader. Look for opportunities to create alternative positive messages. For example, when hear yourself say, “I can’t do this” replace it with “I will find a way.” If you say, “I am going to fail again” replace it with “this time is different.” Notice how your new healthier self-talk makes you to feel better and more motived, which propels you to make healthier choices. Repeat these positive self talk message often. Within time, you will start to believe them and you will see the results you desire!

Self-Talk Yourself to Success!
· I am capable of change!
· I can lose weight and keep it off!
· I can tolerate my feelings without relying on food!
· I can learn to love healthy foods!
· I am worth it!
· I deserve to feel good and be healthy!
· This time is different!

If it is your behavior that you need to focus on, you need to replace it with more effective ways of responding that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.

To begin, ask yourself these questions:
· How could I respond in a more appropriate and effective manner that would help me achieve my weight loss goals?
· What are some reasons for making this change?
· Why is this important to me?
· What are the long-term benefits of transforming how I respond in this situation?
· What are the advantages of practicing this new behavior?

3. Practice your new thoughts and behaviors

Once you have outlined your new thoughts and behaviors, it is now time to implement and practice them. Research suggests you can change almost anything (including thoughts and behaviors) in 21-66 days. So start practicing NOW!

Take time at the end of each day to reflect on how you responded to events and circumstances. Learn from your mistakes, as mistakes are excellent opportunities to learn about yourself. If possible, don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Try to say something nice to yourself and learn from each experience. Continue to adjust how you may respond differently in the future.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: Is Self-Sabotage Controlling Your Life?

Sabotage Syndrome

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

Do you suffer from The Sabotage Syndrome?

Have you ever gotten to a point in your weight loss journey when things are proceeding nicely, you have lost a significant amount of weight and are so close to attaining your ideal goal weight, and then “something” happens… you revert back your old eating habits. You begin to say things like, “I am good during the day, but at night I start grazing and picking, and then tell myself I will start again tomorrow.” Or, “I had a bad eating day, might as well quit.” For some, it may be a quick return to old eating behaviors, for others, it is a slow gradual reoccurrence. Then you feel so disappointed and frustrated regarding your inability to lose the weight yet again, so you decide to give up.

What about these scenarios… as your diet is going great and you are losing weight, instead of giving you flowers for your anniversary (or any other holiday), your significant other gives you a box of your favorite chocolates! Or, you have friends, coworkers, family members, etc. tempting you with food choices they know you are avoiding, while saying remarks like, “Just one bite won’t hurt you” or “You have come so far, you deserve to have just one!” “I made this, you have to try it.” or ”It is my birthday, you have to have cake!”

Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Thousands of dieters suffer from similar patterns. In my experience, I often have patients ask, “Why does this keep happening? Why can’t I just lose the weight and keep it off?” Or, “It is as if I have two minds…one that wants to lose weight, and one that won’t let me.”

I also frequently hear, “Why can’t my spouse (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) support my weight loss efforts?” “It almost seems as if people are trying to make me eat and stay fat!”

So, why are you your own worst enemy? Why do you or other’s stand in the way of your weight loss goals?

Most likely, the answer is… drum roll please…The SABOTAGE Syndrome.

What is the Sabotage Syndrome?

We use the word sabotage all of the time, but do you really know what it means? By definition, sabotage means to destroy. Therefore, when it comes to weight loss, the sabotage syndrome is any deliberate or unconscious thought, feeling, or behavior that attempts to destroy your ability to achieve your weight loss goals, which happens time and time again with each weight loss (or maintenance) attempt. There are two common forms of sabotage in weight loss: self-sabotage and assisted sabotage.

What is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is when you destroy your own ability to achieve your weight loss goals by working toward your weight loss goal, then retracting from it. Most commonly, your own mind becomes your biggest enemy and your thoughts begin to severely affect your behaviors. For example, when you start your diet, you have a positive attitude, feel motivated, and believe “I can do this.” Over time, something happens and your belief “I can do this” is countermanded by “I can’t do this” or “This is too hard.” Or, your initial thought “I can change is overridden by “I’m unable to change.” It is this ambivalent and harmful attitude toward yourself that causes you to unconsciously do everything in your power to destroy your new healthy lifestyle.

Reasons for Self-Sabotage

Why do you work so hard to diet, lose weight, and get healthy only to destroy your own efforts? It would seem foolish that after eating healthfully and balanced for a significant period of time you would binge on a dessert or a fattening meal. Even as you are consuming the unhealthy food, you know you should not be eating it, but you just cannot stop.

There are several reasons why self-sabotage tends to linger in our lives. Most often, it is due to a lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, and/or self-belief. Negative thoughts about yourself and your ability to lose weight can undermine your weight loss efforts. The messages you give yourself through your conscious or unconscious self-talk have a powerful ability to affect your feelings, behaviors, and results.

You can also suffer from self-sabotaging behavior because you are unable to effectively manage your emotions. This is otherwise known as emotional eating. For example, you rely on food to cope with stress, anger, sadness, boredom, loneliness, and/or any other negative emotion. Interestingly, emotional eating is also triggered by positive emotions. This occurs when you eat in response to feeling happy and/or excited. For some, self-sabotage becomes the go to technique for coping with challenging situations, the hassles of daily life, major life events, or unrealistic expectations of ourselves, which we subconsciously feel we are incapable of reaching. Nevertheless, whatever emotions drive you to eat, the outcome is the same…your feelings return, and you likely bear the additional burden of guilt regarding sabotaging your weight-loss.

Another reason for self-sabotage may be because you have a (conscious or unconscious) fear of being deprived. I hear this all of the time from patients. For example, you are hosting a birthday celebration and serving ice cream and cake. You really want to stick to your meal plan, but watching everyone else eat the goodies makes you feel left out and deprived. So, what do you do? Sabotage! You either indulge with your guests, or wait for them to leave and sneak into the kitchen and binge on the cake and/or ice cream.

Additionally, fearing failure may cause you to self-sabotage. This usually occurs because you see failure “the worst thing in the world” or as evidence of how inadequate you (subconsciously) believe you are.

Regardless of your reasons for self-sabotage, if you do not stop it, you will continue living a life full of disappointments, regrets, and unfulfilled expectations.

9 Signs you are Self-Sabotaging

  1. Negative thinker – Focusing only on the negative and ignoring the positive (ex. I lost 3 pound BUT I still have 25 to go.)
  2. Fear of failure (ex. “I’m going to fail.”)
  3. Closet Eater – Eating in secret
  4. Negative self-talker – Beating yourself up (ex. “I am fat, ugly, not good enough, etc.”)
  5. The saint or sinner mentality – Expecting perfection {ex. “I have to eat perfectly otherwise I’ve failed, so might as well eat what ever I want the rest of the day.”)
  6. Emotional Eater – (ex. “I am so stressed out, I need to eat _______ (sweets, chips, pizza, etc.”)
  7. Focusing on the past – doom and gloom (self-defeating behaviors) (ex. “I have never been able to lose weight and keep it off, so I won’t be able to do it this time.”)
  8. The Chicken Little syndrome – the sky is falling! (ex. “I have so much weight to lose, I’m never going to be able to do it.”)
  9. The Excuse Factory – Making excuses for not eating healthy or exercising (ex. “I’m too tired, busy, or stressed out.” It’s too hard!” “It is my birthday, so I must have cake.” “My aunt made it, so I have to eat it.” “I have a slow metabolism, I’ll never lose weight.”)

“Stop self-sabotaging. Learn to identify these behaviors before they destroy your efforts. You are in control of your weight loss success.” – Dr. Suzanne Bentz, D.O., Owner & Medical Director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.