Phantom Dieting

If you’ve been on a weight loss program for awhile and you aren’t losing weight, you might be what I like to call, Phantom Dieting. 

Phantom Dieting is when you think you are following your program, but once you start asking yourself the right questions, you realize that maybe…eh, not so much. 

The inner dialogue goes something like this:

Me: GAH!! Why am I not losing weight? It’s been weeks since I’ve seen any real weight loss!

Inner Me: Well, are you still tracking your food everyday?

Me: Um…I tracked for half a day last Wednesday. 

Inner Me: So that would be a “no”. 

Me: Yeah. That’s a no.  

Inner Me: Are you still getting in a good sweaty workout most days?

Me: I got a little sweaty when I was putting the wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer last night. Does that count?

Inner Me: Uh…no. 

Me: I guess I’ve been slacking on my workouts lately. So no, I haven’t been good and sweaty for several days. 

Inner Me: Are you staying away from grazing and/or nibbling on junk food? Are you filling up on fruits and vegetables and lean protein?

Me: Sh*t. 

Inner Me: Okay well, see here’s the problem – you keep telling yourself that you’re following your program, but your actions say something different. What you are doing looks like nothing like following your plan. You, my dear, are Phantom Dieting. 

Me: So I guess I need to start doing what works for me: tracking my food every day, getting sweaty most days, and staying far far away from the junk food. Basically I need to, you know, follow my plan. 

Inner Me: Good observation there, Sherlock.


By the way, this may or may not be an actual conversation that took place in my head. *ahem* 

So if your weight loss has stalled or isn’t moving in the direction you would like, you might need to have a hard conversation with yourself. Feel free to use the above as a template. I don’t mind sharing. 

Since I know I’m not terribly original or unique, I know someone else out there has done some Phantom Dieting of their own. How did you get yourself back on track or what was it that made you realize you were off the rails? 

And yes, I am tracking everything today and making sure everything I put in my mouth is beneficial to my body. Time to get things moving again. 

13 thoughts on “Phantom Dieting

  1. I love the term Phantom Dieting. This is a great post. For me, if I’m not tracking the first thing that helps me get back on track is tracking what I eat. If I am tracking and not having results, I can usually find out what I’m doing wrong if I really analyze what I’ve been eating.

  2. I love the term Phantom Dieting as well. Haven’t done it yet I think. I seem to have only two ‘options’ since I’m on a diet: diet or eat everything in sight. This would actually be better, because I wouldn’t be gaining :).

    I love the link below, really made my day!

  3. Been there, done that. At least now I don’t expect to lose weight when I’m phantom dieting… Love that term!

  4. Wow – totally hit the nail on the head – I’ve been “phantom dieting” for the last 6 weeks or so, and this dialogue has been running through my head, almost verbatim. You rock, Jill (and inner Jill) for sharing with us! Thanks for the wake-up call….now off to listen to inner Jess and her wisdom…

  5. I think it’s hard to maintain 100% motivation, 100% of the time. Phantom dieting is not so bad if you know you’re doing it — I fall back on this when my life gets busy or my motivation slacks.

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I also have phantom dieted for about a year… I didn’t gain much but I didn’t make any weight loss progress. I had this get real conversation in my head last week and have consistently worked on reigning in the crazy amount of grazing I was doing.. This week is going well so far! Now to just not over do the celebration of my first 1/2 marathon on Sunday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.