That’s when the habit centre kicks in and start wiring the cycle of craving and caving as an auto-pilot habit that we don’t even really control after awhile. The more you do it, the more you teach your brain that cravings = rewards and the harder it becomes to “stick to” anything.
Have you noticed that when you first started dieting it seemed easier to stick to them and the more years that have passed the harder it’s become?
That’s why. The longer this cycle repeats, the more ingrained the act of “caving” becomes. This is one of the biggest reasons most people struggle with dieting – because diets, especially the super restrictive fad ones, are SO restrictive of food. It’s also why eliminating food rules & restrictions is required.
2. Self-sabotage from limiting beliefs/the way we feel about ourselves.
The stories that we tell ourselves about weight, food, our bodies, what we’re capable of, even our worth determine the outcome of damn near everything in our lives. If we continually tell ourselves we’re failures, we’re quitters, we always screw up anyway, we believe those things to be true of ourselves and we act accordingly.
When we don’t trust ourselves or believe in our ability to be successful, we self-sabotage – because why on earth would we keep going when things get tough if we don’t think we can do it anyway?
If we’ve already decided going in that we’re just going to screw up because we always do, we’ll just keep quitting as soon as it gets tough or inconvenient. Also, when we don’t like, value or love ourselves, we self-sabotage because we don’t believe we deserve to be successful. Unless and until you change those things, consistency will always be a struggle when it comes to losing weight.
3. The change model.
Again, another fun little trick our brains play on us because of their faulty programming. It’s a normal cycle when we’re trying to change because our brains do NOT like change and do everything they can to keep the status quo.
So, the change model looks like this:
First, there’s the discontent. We don’t like something like say our weight.
Second, the breaking point. This is when we can’t take it anymore and brings us into the next phase of the cycle, the declaration.
“This is IT this time, I’m really doing it!” which brings us to the next phase: fear. When we start doing things differently and our brains get scared. Remember, they don’t like change so they start making up a bunch of things for us to be afraid of. When it gets too overloaded with fear, it kinda shuts down which brings us to the next phase in the change model: amnesia.
This is where we start forgetting why we wanted to change in the first place. The goals we set weeks or months ago start feeling completely unimportant and we just stop caring about them. Which leads to backtracking on any progress we may have made while we slip back into the old habits that are brains are comfortable with.. until we start to feel that discontent again and the cycle just keeps repeating.
The change model: Discontent > breaking point > declaration > fear > amnesia > backtracking > repeat will just keep replaying until you recognize it for what it is and learn to manage it.
Fear is a huge reason we struggle with consistency in losing weight. Not just because our brains don’t like change as in the last one, but often, carrying extra pounds often makes people feel safe – if there’s a history of physical or sexual abuse, this is especially true.