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The Major Obstacles to Weight Loss

Healthy weight loss starts on the inside. During our weight loss resort retreats, we help our guests understand the bigger picture surrounding their wellness journey. We have found that one of the biggest obstacles to weight loss is not about gym time or caloric intake. It’s about daily mental self-sabotage that keeps success at bay.

Here are some of the major mental culprits that can stall your weight loss progress and some ideas to overcome these sneaky obstacles and get back on track.


When you’ve been beating yourself up for awhile, it becomes a hard habit to break.

Self-criticism disguises itself as negative self-talk, feelings of shame or embarrassment and continually comparing yourself to others. Remember that these habits formed over time, so you’ll need patience and persistence to see a shift.

Make a mental commitment to yourself to steer your thoughts in a new direction at the first sign of negativity. Hang a positive mantra on your wall as a reminder. Or use the old rubber-band-around-the-wrist trick. But don’t snap the band when you have a negative thought. Simply look at the rubber band and remember that you, too, are flexible and always changing shape.


Getting stuck in a workout rut can be a major hurdle that slows your healthy weight loss progress. Not only are you exercising the same muscles (and neglecting the others), but boredom can zap your enthusiasm about even making it to the gym or showing up for your usual workout routine.

The solution is to take a more adventurous approach to weight loss. Mix things up. Work with a trainer. Try a totally new class. Visit a weight loss resort. Each of these fresh activities encourages you to view weight loss as an exciting journey, not an endless cycle of drudgery.


It’s easy to feel alone when you’re the only one in your family or group of friends who is trying to lose weight. Loneliness can create shyness that results in an unwillingness to try something new (and inevitably leads to boredom…).

Get invigorated by meeting other like-minded people at an organic cooking class. Join a fitness club or book a stay at a weight loss resort. Make the effort to meet totally new people or bring a favorite friend. Sharing your healthy weight loss path can deepen your friendship and inspire you to stay on track.


When you change your lifestyle, you start to look around and see a world of “can’t” and “shouldn’t”. Constantly feeling like you’re walking a tightrope–where every diet or exercise decision is a high-stakes choice–can increase your stress levels and inhibit your weight loss progress. Rather than focusing on what you’re eliminating from your diet and lifestyle, spend more time appreciating the wisdom of your healthier choices.

Replace, “I wish I could sleep in today but I can’t…” with: “I’m excited to get up early and hit the gym before work because I know I’ll have more energy throughout the day.” Instead of, “I wish I could help myself to those French fries, but I shouldn’t….”, try: “I’m going to load this salad with all my favorite healthy toppings because I choose to fill myself up on nutritious greens, not salt and fat.” Seeing the glass as half-full makes staying on track much more enjoyable.


When you want to lose weight, it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results. Maybe you watch your scale with an eagle eye. Or you compulsively try on your “skinny clothes” to see if you can feel a difference. Put the skinny clothes back in the closet. Store the scale in a cupboard. Just remain consistent and keep making the same positive choices. After a month of healthy diet and exercise choices, try again. If you don’t see results, just keep trying. Remember, your efforts are never wasted. You will see a difference, even if it’s not on your timetable.

The key to healthy weight loss

Healthy weight loss involves as much mental work as it does physical effort. Be kind to yourself. Continue to praise yourself for your personal commitment. Calm your mind through meditation and quality time spent reflecting on how far you’ve come. Keep up the good work. You’re doing great.

Need help overcoming these obstacles? Book your stay at VeraVia today, where our experts work with you to address your unique needs and challenges.

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