Is Someone Trying to Sabotage Your Diet?

Community // Heather // 27 June 2015

We all know one: the person who tells you you’re starting to look too thin, or the friend who insists you must have a slice of birthday cake. On the surface they may all mean well, but the outcome is the same – they’re trying to sabotage your diet.

Most people would think that when you are losing weight, your partner would be your keenest supporter. As you drop kilos however, you may be surprised to discover that they may be trying to put you off your goals of a healthier, trimmer body because they’re scared that, as you slim down, your new look could attract more attention, that you might become dissatisfied with the rest of your life staying the same while you are making changes, and that you might even leave them.

Sabotage-busting tip #1: reassurance

Reassure your partner that losing weight is important to improve your health and wellbeing – and the better you feel, the more likely you will be able to contribute to a happy relationship with them.

As you lose weight some of your friendships might start to feel a little strained. Your friends might be jealous of your success, resentful of the attention you are getting or feel guilty that you’re doing something about your weight and health, when perhaps they need to do something about their own.

Sabotage-busting tip #2: the value of support

Help those closest to you to stop feeling threatened by telling them how important their friendship is to you and how much you value their support as you make these important changes in your life.

Away from home, diet sabotage can often come in the form of workplace treats – whether it’s celebration cakes or calorie-laden coffees – and they are often bought by the slimmest member of staff. Put simply, it may be they just don’t understand! They may have never struggled with their weight and just don’t realise how hard you’ve worked to get where you are and think that it is sill for you to worry about what you eat.

Also read: 10 Ways to De-stress Quickly

Sabotage-busting tip #3: a polite reminder

Remind them politely that you are on a diet, and if they persist in including you in the cake run, ask them why they are doing this when they know you’re trying to make healthier choices. That puts the ball back in their court (and the cake back in the cake box).

Sabotage-busting tip #4: focus on your goals

Of course, the biggest diet saboteur around could be you. Think about what you have done in the past that has held you back from achieving your goals, not just with weight loss but in any area of your life. For example, if you find yourself messing up your diet by ‘comfort’ eating each evening, try to figure out what your ‘discomfort’ actually is – is it tiredness, boredom, anger, frustration, loneliness? Once you can isolate a reason for your sabotaging behaviour, you are more likely to be able to do something constructive about it.

Whenever a diet saboteur pops up, focus on your successes so far and you are far more likely to achieve your goal of a healthier, fitter and more active life.

Want to become the best version of yourself? 12WBT will indeed help you feel amazing from the inside out!



  1. Kylie Pinnuck Reply

    Great article,

    Yes I think this one is an important one for so many people out there. It will help them recognise the behaviour as well as tackle it the right way. It will provide an understanding of behaviours in other people and perhaps them selves as well.

    Well done guys.


  2. LYN Reply


    1. Tanya Paolucci Reply

      Hi there Lyn,
      We’re sorry to hear about your boredom, frustration and loneliness. This doesn’t sound like a pleasant space to be in at all. Something we often suggest to our 12WBTers who are experiencing some additional personal issues is to see a counsellor to talk all of these thoughts and feelings through and to also work on some strategies for dealing with them. If you haven’t done so already, your GP would be a good starting. GPs can provide a referral to see a psychologist or other health care provider, the cost of which can be largely covered my Medicare. Health professionals at Community Mental Health Services and public hospitals do not charge fees.

      In addition to any specific recommendations from your doctor, you can use the following directory to find a suitable psychologist in your local area:

      Even if it does take a little time to find someone you feel safe and comfortable with, it is possible to find some support and assistance and you don’t have to deal with these feelings on your own.

  3. Olga Reply

    These articles and handy tips are so helpful, especially in the lead up to June 15. I was away for this last week and applied all these new strategies. I was thrilled to see I had lost 1 Kg – whilst eating reasonably well – my portions had reduced and I excluded those wicked chunky Kettle Chips. Im so pleased with myself so far.

  4. Deb Reply

    Hi All. I am looking at the website with my husband and deciding whether this is the ‘right’ move for me………. See? That’s what I do…”Oh, no, I can’t do that….” “It’s too hard…….” I have to try. Nothing else has worked. I eat because I think it makes me feel better. I don’t think about all the ‘bad’ things. Out of all the sabatoges, the main one will be ME. I think I get it what the program is trying to do. So, I’ll have a go! What can I lose? Lol

  5. Lisa Steffe Reply

    This article nailed it for me! I was my own saboteur spending the evenings eating too much, drinking wine and laying on the couch watching telly for hours until I fell asleep.
    Point #4 made me realise that I was comforting myself because I was bored. I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping my husband company – he’s the one that likes to drink wine every night and watch telly, so I had adopted HIS habit which actually made ME feel bored! Such a vicious cycle!
    Fortunately I am now doing the 12WBT and my evenings are my favourite time to go to the gym!! I am no longer bored and I have replaced a self-sabotaging habit for a healthy one that is getting my closer to my goal. My husband still has his wine but now it’s while I am away at the gym. By the time I return home I don’t have time to plonk myself in front of the telly anymore! I enjoy ending my day with a cup of camomile tea instead.
    Thanks to 12WBT I now have so many new habits that I find I am enjoying a better quality of life all ’round!

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