Many busy, successful women (high-performers) reach for food to help with stress, uncertainty, overload, exhaustion, and emotions.
In a full life, with high expectations, food and overeating can become quick, easy, go-to strategies for stress relief, comfort, reward, or just a way to zone out or avoid a looming to-do list. Weight loss tips that don’t take into account the life of a busy woman, can set you up for failure and frustration.
The hidden hungers that can drive high-performers to overeat are powerful, and if they aren’t acknowledged, attempts to lose weight or stop overeating can turn into vicious cycles and unending battles. This is because, if you don’t have a plan for dealing with the reasons you overeat, the urges, the cravings, and the underlying hidden hungers will still be an issue. In fact, if you ignore your hidden hungers, when you cut back on food, your cravings and desire to overeat will probably get worse.
This is one reason that diets often lead to weight gain instead of weight loss. And it’s how even smart, savvy, high-performers can find themselves stuck on an overeating hamster wheel where they don’t feel effective.
Instead of starting another diet that won’t work, here are three smart weight loss tips for high-performers who overeat.
1. To get off the hamster wheel, you have to step sideways instead of running faster.
If what you are doing isn’t working, stop trying harder. It will only get you to the same place faster and feeling more burnt out. Most high-performers could benefit greatly from a new, simpler, smarter approach that takes the power back from food instead of creating more stress, one that addresses the reasons they overeat or haven’t seen results in the past.
Smart weight loss tip: don’t reinvent the wheel (and get off the one you’re stuck on!).
2. Let go of perfectionism.
Perfectionism or all-or-nothing thinking is incredibly common among high-performers – and it limits your results. When it comes to overeating, perfectionism can lead to a pattern where making a poor choice feels like “blowing it.” Smart women trying to lose weight fall for this all the time. Instead of continuing forward and allowing the next choice to be a better one, the perfectionist approach can lead you to cash in all your chips and start down a road of overeating because you’re upset with yourself and you “failed.”
Smart weight loss tip: plan for imperfection.
Don’t start with the assumption that things will go perfectly – they won’t, and it’s not necessary that they do. Practice noticing your progress and not just your missteps. Keep your focus on moving forward. No matter where you are in the present moment, you can always choose your next best step.
3. Trade self-blame for self-compassion.
Pushing yourself harder only makes the hamster wheel go faster. Blaming yourself because you haven’t yet seen the results you want, or because you ate more than you wanted to once again, just keeps you stuck. When you learn how to move through frustration and self-blame, you can start asking (and benefiting from) the questions that will get you somewhere (questions like why does food have so much power in my life this week?).
Smart weight loss tip: use self-compassion as a door to better understanding your Hidden Hungers, and the situations, emotions, and issues that trigger overeating.
Stop beating yourself up and start gently asking, “why?” Practice looking at your cravings and your eating from a place of compassion with a desire to understand what’s going on. This is the first step to creating a strategy that will succeed. The struggle with overeating is real, and it’s happening for a reason.
Take good care,