5 Obstacles to Successful Dieting

Obstacles to Successful Dieting

Dieting is never easy! And . . . staying with a diet over the long-term seems almost impossible at times. In spite of that, many people succeed and so can you – if you are aware of five key things that can throw you off track and create havoc with your will power and ability to stay the course.

When you understand the dangers, you are more likely to recognize what is happening if any of the five obstacles to successful dieting arise. And – you can get the issues under control before they do any real damage.

You know – I know – everybody knows – that the key to success with any diet is your ability to stay motivated. When that is strong enough and you stay focused, you can be aware of how you are feeling, anticipate, plan, and be ready to deal with obstacles as they appear.

In this series we will discuss the “BIG FIVE” issues that can lead to complete dieting disaster. We will also discuss how to avoid them and/or how to do damage control if they actually take hold.

We will start with the first one today and cover the other four in subsequent posts.


Emotional Eating can be a firestorm for anyone who is dieting. It can be devastating to the best intentions because it is one of the most difficult obstacles to control once it strikes.

We all eat emotionally to some degree. I am sure you have heard of comfort food – foods we crave when we are struggling with life – feeling angry, hurt, disappointed, sad, frustrated, depressed, etc. Somewhere in our lifetime we developed the habit of eating those comfort foods to make ourselves feel better when we are stressed or emotionally distraught.

Unfortunately, comfort foods are typically high-calorie foods – filled with fat. Some common comfort foods in the U.S. are thick, juicy cheeseburgers, lasagna, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, ice cream, and chocolate.

It is obvious that such foods are disastrous for any diet. They not only have a high-fat content, they are usually also high in carbohydrates, which causes blood sugar levels to spiral out of control. That, in turn, leads to overeating, which is very difficult to stop once it starts.

Practically everyone struggles with emotional eating once in a while; but, some people are more susceptible than others.

People who struggle with depression, who become easily overwhelmed with life, or who work in a highly stressful environment are more likely to get caught in the tentacles of emotional eating. Click this link to take the Emotional Eating Test if you think it may be an issue for you.

The devastation of this issue can be stopped if the individual has a solid support network in place; but, without it emotional eating can be practically impossible to control.

If you know that emotional eating is your personal quicksand, you must enlist friends, family, coworkers, or any other network of people to be your support group to help you get through your emotional issues.

It is also critical to build your awareness about when you are truly hungry – and – when your desire to eat is driven by the need to fill up an emotional void. When you recognize that you are eating because of how you are feeling emotionally, you must be able to reach out to someone in your support network who can talk you through the “crisis” point until the emotional hunger goes away.

When you learn to recognize the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger, it will become easier to control your emotional eating. In fact, that is the only way you will be able to stop the emotional eating binges before they start – which is exactly what you want to accomplish.

Learn to listen to your body. Real hunger is physical. It is a signal from your stomach that your body needs food for energy. When you have eaten enough there is another signal telling you that you can stop – you feel full and satisfied.

Emotional hunger is mental – not physical. It is usually connected to an upsetting emotion, comes on suddenly, often triggers a craving for a specific food, and you have to have it right now.  Unfortunately, the emotional benefit is short-lived, so you continue to stuff yourself trying to fill up the void.

There is a lot of information available about emotional eating. If you think you may be struggling with this issue, it would be wise to get help in overcoming the problem. It will be a great step toward feeling better, looking better and living a happier, healthier life.

Join us again on Tuesday for the next obstacle.

To a thinner, healthier you!


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