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Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman

Physician, author and co-founder of Canyon Ranch Resort and...

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Joy Bauer

Registered dietician and best-selling author

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Dr. Arthur Agatston

Author of The South Beach Diet

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Fight the Weight Loss Fear


The first 30 days of a new diet [and lifestyle] is an exciting time, but it isn't without stress. For many of us, self-doubt is a serious weight-loss deterrent.

Elisa Zied, nutritionist, dietitian and co-author of Feed Your Family Right!: How to Make Smart Food and Fitness Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle, says these fears can become overwhelming during the weight-loss journey. “Most think losing weight will make them happy, but for some it can actually make them more insecure, self-aware and vulnerable,” she says. “More people begin to notice and comment on your appearance, which can make you feel more self-conscious.”
These emotions can lead to “falling off the wagon” by indulging in treats or forgoing exercise. “You may do things to sabotage yourself because you’re actually afraid to get to the weight you desire or a more healthy weight,” she says. “[People] may feel that the extra layers of fat have protected them in some way from the outside world.”

Zied suggests writing down these emotions in your journal and reciting positive thoughts and affirmations to help you progress through your weight loss journey. Remember, losing weight will not necessarily bring true happiness, but it can help you feel better physically and mentally. While we all have fearful or negative thoughts, we can shift them. “Being negative only breeds negativity,” she says. “Being positive welcomes more positive experiences into your life and helps you achieve your goals and maintain a healthier lifestyle and attitude long-term.”

Read other weight-loss experts' advice for more tips.

Posted: 3/25/23

It seemed all my life I was young and beautiful. Even after 4 children I was still in good shape. That was one thing I did not have to worry about. then I married the love of my life and then he became abusive. When we divorced I was put on anti-depressant, probably for good reason! But I gained weight like I was pregnant! 60 pounds and 4 years later I am off the anti-depressant and have to really face the weight I've gained. Every time I start to lose weight I freak out that I will be attractive again and make another bad choice. SO I resign. I am glad someone finally talked about the self protection being heavy affords. It gives me courage to face it and try again. Thanks.


Wow, true, as much as I want to lose weight and look better and feel better, it is true that once people start commenting on how good I look after loosing some weight, I feel pressured and uncomfortable. Soon after, I fall off the wagon and gain it back. Happens all the time. I need to loose about 100 lbs total and I usually only make it as far as 25 lbs before I gain it back. A journal sounds good - keep writing positive thoughts that I feel.

  • By Everlee
  • on 8/16/09 7:27 AM EST

This is a great idea to keep a journal. Goals should be measurable and trackable. Seeing your goal in a chart is very encouraging. Talking to a partner, sibling, friend to keep you accountable and encouraged is a good way to stay on track as well.