THE BLOG
01/23/2015 02:34 pm ET Updated Mar 25, 2015

Why Superwomen Fail at Weight Loss And How to Avoid the Trap

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It sounds deceptively simple -- eat less, move more. This month, untold numbers of women are embarking on that journey once again. Unfortunately, many are already losing motivation or feeling off track. When things don't work out, frustration levels can get pretty high. It's so simple after all.

The problem is, it really isn't. Eat less, move more is not the complete equation, and if that's all you focus on, there are some critical areas that are likely to sabotage you.

Especially if you are superwoman.

Maybe you don't wear a cape and you wouldn't be caught dead in the spandex outfit, but you may still fit the definition. You're the woman who makes things happen. You juggle family, work, home, and everything else. When the going gets tough, you keep going. You are busy busy busy. You are a smart cookie who's accomplished some pretty amazing things in many areas of your life.

Unfortunately, none of these things make dieting any easier. In fact, your high-power life probably makes weight loss more complicated and may actually add inches to your waistline. And it's likely that dieting and a focused eat less, move more approach is not the appropriate solution.

There's an essential missing piece, and without it, even superwoman -- especially superwoman -- is almost guaranteed to fail.

The critical piece I'm referring to is the strategy that addresses the reason you find yourself polishing off the bag of chips, mindlessly snacking at your desk, or nervously cutting off endless slivers from the pan of brownies in the kitchen.

Superwomen succeed at weight loss when they shift from a diet approach to one that truly allows them to create peace with food and this happens when they address the reasons they overeat.

Here are some examples of things that are not food that can have everything to do with why we overeat -- especially if you are a busy, high-achieving woman running a business or a small empire or a household:
  • Exhaustion
  • Emotions -- like hurt, anger, sadness, or worry
  • Stress
  • Avoidance and procrastination
  • Being too busy

If you don't address these very real issues and instead push harder and harder just to follow the food plan, you're not only missing the point, you aren't aiming at what's necessary to create a lasting solution.

For most of us, the key to not eating the whole bag, and to staying on track and actually losing weight lies in figuring out how to deal with our complicated lives without turning to food for comfort, stress relief, quick energy, or to help us cope with our emotions. This is a huge part of what I call creating peace with food. Peace with food is an approach that creates lasting changes because it's a process that guides us to create solid solutions to the problems that trigger overeating in the first place. The journey towards peace with food makes our whole life better.

Superwoman doesn't need another diet, but real life superwomen I know could usually benefit from asking why they struggle to live and eat the way they want to.

What are your hurdles and triggers? Are you using food as a Band-Aid when it's really life that is out of balance? 

For more tips and information about how to shift from a diet-based mindset to a peace with food approach, you can check out this no-cost video series which is available through January.

This article was previously published on Melissa McCreery's blog at TooMuchonHerPlate.com where she writes about moving beyond overwhelm, overload, and overeating to create a life you love. To get useful tips and strategies for making changes that last, join her free newsletter and sign up to take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz.