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How to Stop Sabotaging Weight Loss Efforts: Gradual lifestyle changes make a big difference in sustainable weight loss, says integrative nutrition health coach Jennifer McKee.

Apr 25, 2017 10:00PM ● By Jennifer McKee

We go on a diet and lose weight, and then eventually do something "wrong" such as give into temptation, and we use our mistake as an excuse to quit. Afterward, we automatically tell ourselves we are a failure, we have no willpower and are destined to be unhealthy, quit the diet and go back to our old habits. To end this vicious cycle of self-sabotage, we need to gradually make healthy lifestyle changes instead of dieting, and we need to tame our inner critic. Diets and deprivation don’t work.

The inner critic is developed during childhood as we create different coping mechanisms and belief systems to deal with rough times and negative comments from others. For example, we may have been told, "You can’t do anything right and you’re a failure." We may have been laughed at when we made a mistake and we interpreted the event incorrectly. Instead of understanding that it is normal to make a mistake, we believed we were a failure. We hold onto these inaccurate belief systems as adults, and they continue to have a negative impact on our well-being. There are two powerful ways to stop self-sabotage.

Learn how to commit to ourselves so we can make gradual healthy lifestyle changes. Write down why we want to lose the weight and get healthy. This is the first step to holding ourselves accountable, because we are declaring our intentions. Reading our goals daily will help inspire us. Once we begin achieving our goals, our belief in ourselves will grow exponentially. When our goals become habits, we should then commit to new attainable goals. If we struggle to commit to our goals, reshape the goal and commit again.

Challenge the inner critic. For example, if we look in the mirror and tell ourselves we are fat and a failure, challenge the thought by telling ourselves, "I may have some health issues and not be at the weight I want to be, but I am making small changes every day to improve my health and love myself more. That is good enough for me and I am proud of myself for taking steps in the right direction." The more we do this, the less often the inner critic will appear. Every thought that we have is not a fact. We should not give our power to our inner critic and allow it to sabotage us.

Once we commit to ourselves and begin challenging our inner critic, we will be on the road to creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle so we can end the cycle of self-sabotage and lose the weight for good.

Jennifer McKee, an integrative nutrition health coach, founded McKee Health Transformations, in Surprise. She has lost over 50 percent of her body weight naturally. Appointments are available in person, via telephone or Skype. For more information, call 866-632-8651 or visit