I was traveling through a Dallas airport recently when a security agent stopped me to ask a question that had nothing to do with the contents of my carry-on. "Why can't I lose weight?" she asked. "I listen to all of your advice, but nothing seems to work."
I stepped out of the line to reassure her that she could achieve her goal. Then I told her about the sneaky weight-loss factor that stands in the way of many people's success: rebellion. That's when something inside you stages an uprising against what the rest of you intends to do. At the bottom of it, you don't even want yourself ordering you around.
What sets you up for these insurgencies? Often it's too-tight rules. Rebellion is about rejecting authority and control. And when part of you creates punishing limits for yourself, well, no surprise that another part pushes right back.
Restore your inner peace and see progress on the scale with these tactics:
Few things ignite a mutiny like feeling that you have no options. Set limits but also build in freedom of choice, as this issue's Day-Off Diet does. Six days a week you follow a plan, and on the seventh you get to relax and add back in some favorite foods.
Change your language.
Help mend your relationship with food by shifting the way you talk about it. You only have to adjust one word. Instead of saying you can't eat carrot cake, reframe it to say that you don't eat carrot cake. There's no rebellion because you're choosing, not blindly obeying some bossy diet overseer in your brain.
So before you embark on losing weight, try a mental shift first. Find the freedom in your plan and rebellion drops away — along with extra pounds and the frustration you haul around with them. The number only changes when you're 100 percent committed.If your plan's too strict, of course you'll rebel. The tighter the screws, the more you want to bust out of the vise.
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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