One of my favorite terms when speaking with clients, friends, and all humans in general is ‘paralysis by analysis.’ I didn’t know it was a real thing until I very clearly experienced it myself for years. Of course, I didn’t know I was going through it at the time. Insert that whole ‘hindsight is 20/20’ thing that everyone loves to say.
What is ‘paralysis by analysis?’
Paralysis by analysis is defined as ‘the inability to make a decision due to overthinking a problem.’ Thank you, Google. My definition is a tad simpler. Basically, not knowing what to do because there is so much out there. So, you do nothing.
When we are trying to lose weight, paralysis by analysis can seriously not hit home more. When there is so much out there, it can sometimes be suffocating. And when I mean there is so much out there, I mean this:
- celebrities swear by intuitive fasting (which is an oxymoron in itself)
- doctors saying only eat egg whites
- doctors saying you need yolk and it doesn’t affect cholesterol
- medical experts telling patients to lose weight, do the Mediterranean diet
- medical experts telling patients to lose weight, do paleo
- before and after’s of people that have done keto
- your thin best friend who orders a house salad and a vodka soda every night out
- health experts saying to eat only plant-based
- health experts saying you need animal protein for essential amino acids.
See? That’s a list of over ten contradictory rules, and that is just what I could think of in the last 30 seconds. There is so much out there, and every single rule, report and testimonial is completely contradictory with each other.
Does this sound familiar?
You want to lose weight, so you avoid gluten and dairy as you were told. You are three days in, you really miss your bread and cheese, and you are scrolling through instagram and see a before and after picture of someone who ‘ate whatever they wanted, and just didn’t eat until 11am everyday,’ and you realize that will probably work better for you.
So, you start intermittent fasting. You ignore all your hunger cues, and by 10:50 you just cannot take it anymore. So you eat. And eat. And eat. You realize you are just too damn hungry, you’ve overeaten for no reason, and intermittent fasting doesn’t work for you. But wait, you hear your thin sister-in-law who lately is really into counting macros and she’s recently lost weight so you think ‘okay, this will probably work for me too.’
And around and around you go. You don’t know what to do anymore. So you stop.
Nothing seems to work for you. Not the avoidance of carbs, fasting, macros… nothing. The level of frustration, overwhelm and anger seems to take over, so not only have you stopped trying to lose weight – you bounce back in the opposite direction.
You may even begin rebellion eating.
You’re pissed, you feel like you’ve tried everything, and nothing is ‘working.’ You begin rebellion eating, which is almost like telling the entire world to ‘f off, and I’m gonna do what I want,’ (even though you don’t want to). You just don’t know how to handle and address your emotions in a healthy manner.
Paralysis by analysis is completely toxic, because you got yourself to this point by listening to others, comparing yourself, and spending waaaay too much time researching and trying to find the easy answers that are right in front of you.
Here’s how to get out of paralysis by analysis:
Cut out the noise. Seriously.
Anyone who is swearing by the next thing to ‘fix you?’ Unfollow or mute them.
The only way you are going to hit your goals is when your goals fit in with your lifestyle. Unfortunately, everything we’ve been taught is the other way around.
Learning what works for you by knowing what makes you feel your best (both physically and emotionally) is the ONLY way you’ll be able to follow something for the rest of your life.
Does this sound like something you want to learn? Ready to get off the diet hamster wheel?
I’m ready for you to have that, too. Contact me here and let’s chat.