1. What is your goal? Many diets fail because the target is uncertain. If you are not sure what your ideal weight should be, you will never be satisfied with the results, as you can always lose “just a few pounds more”.
2. When has the problem started? It is possible that you started to overeat in response to an emotional trauma or a significant life event. If so, careful examination of the situation will help you deal with the real reason behind your overeating.
3. What is your “dieting history”? If you already have an experience of a failed diet, try to describe it in great detail. If you will be able to spot when and why do you normally get stuck, you will avoid similar problems in the future.
4. In what situations do you normally overeat? Perhaps, you reach out for chocolate when you are stressed or start eating more when you feel tired? In that case, you need a rest or an emotional support, not an extra slice of pizza.
5. Where do you overeat? Do you snack at work or are you hiding crisps in the car and eat them when no one is watching? Knowing your eating patterns will help you avoid the “risky” situations.
6. What are you saying to yourself when you overeat? Quite possibly, you are feeling guilty or blaming yourself. Constant self-criticism will not help you lose weight, but might well push you into more “comfort eating”.
7. Do you like yourself? Have a good look in the mirror and give a honest answer. Do you like yourself right now, not when you will be 10 kg lighter? In your quest for a perfect body you will need an ally and that ally is you!
8. What was the attitude towards thin/fat people in your family of origin? Perhaps you are just replicating old statements, mentally repeating that “In our family people are big” or believing that “thin people are unhealthy”.
9. Could you describe a typical mealtime in your family of origin? Were you told to eat up everything on your plate even if you did not like the food? Perhaps in your mind you are still listening to your parents and feel obliged to finish your meal, rather than listen to your body.
10. And the last question – can you imagine yourself in the future, having achieved your target weight? Try to picture yourself: What are you wearing? How are you feeling? How are people reacting to the “new you”? If you feel uncomfortable doing this visualization, you might have a few psychological barriers to overcome before starting on a diet. The easier and more pleasant the visualization will become, the more ready you will be to lose weight for good.