Nathaniel Lambert Ph.D.

Strive to Thrive

5 Ways to Overcome Discouragement While Losing Weight

How you handle discouragement will make or break your weight loss goals.

Posted Apr 28, 2014

Discouragement is completely normal and will happen regardless of how successful you are with your diet plan. There’s simply no way to get around this. However, the factor that will determine your ultimate dieting success is not whether you will get discouraged, but how you will deal with discouragement when it comes. I will discuss five ideas about dealing with your discouragement including avoiding situations that will inevitably lead to discouragement, expecting plateaus and setbacks, maintaining a long-term perspective, being open to discussing your feelings of distress with others, and transforming your discouragement into determination.  

1. Avoid Situations that Lead to Discouraging Experiences

To a large degree, discouragement can be prevented by avoiding situations where you know you will be tempted to break your diet plan. Breaking your diet plan hinders you from achieving your goals and can lead to frustration and feeling unsuccessful. For instance, as a family we have always enjoyed picking berries at farms that allow you to eat as you pick. This situation can be disastrous for me because I love berries, and in the past I have eaten a great deal of them both while picking and afterwards. In fact, I’ll often eat berries until my teeth start to ache from all the acid. When I had almost reached my weight goal, my wife arranged for us to go with another family to a raspberry farm. I decided that I would go but not eat the berries as I picked them. However, I made the mistake of trying one especially delicious looking raspberry. It was painfully delicious. By the end of the night, I had eaten nearly two pounds of raspberries and had set myself back from my goal by a few days. I was definitely discouraged, and yet these feelings could have been avoided if I had not put myself in that situation. That hour of gorging was fantastic, but was it worth the days of extra rigorous dieting and the feelings of dejection? Not at all.

            There are multiple situations that can trigger a downfall. Another such situation I encountered was making cookies with my family. That often turns into both indulging on cookie dough and devouring the cookies straight out of the oven. What are some of the situations that you know could make you slip up? Do you tell yourself that you can go out to eat at that favorite restaurant and be disciplined, only to lose control once you get there? Make sure to identify some of the situations that spur your downfalls and commit to avoid those situations at all costs. After you list the situations that could be your downfall, list some alternate activities to these risky situations. Armed with those alternatives, you can quickly replace the situations that might harm your progress with better options that will help you continue your good work.


Learn More...

            To read about the 4 remaining ways to overcome discouragement while losing weight, check out my book, Four Truths About Weight Loss That Nobody Tells You, available for purchase in Kindle or Hard Copy. - Or you can visit to learn more and to download a Free copy of the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Discouragement is an inevitable aspect of losing weight; however, successfully dealing with your disappointment can make all the difference in your ultimate victory. In Four Truths About Weight Loss That Nobody Tells You, I share the strategies that helped me to lose 55 pounds and keep it off. I am confident that they can help you too!

About the Author

Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at the University of Utah.

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