Saying No 2

How To Master The Art Of Saying “No” After Weight Loss

February 24, 2021

Saying "No" After Weight Loss: Congratulations, you have grabbed the brass ring of weight loss! You are either within a few pounds of your goal weight, in the process of losing weight, or are steadily holding on after achieving your goal. Either way, let's start with a big round of applause and pat yourself on the back – you deserve it!  Now, let's work towards how to help you stay there.

Master The Art of Saying “No” After Weight Loss

In this article, I will be showing you how to master the art of saying "No" after weight loss. We'll be covering four key topics:

First:  Know your identity and values so that you can stay focused on your priorities

Think about when someone suggests something to you that you don't want to participate in. Knowing your identity and your values is extremely important. It is the equivalent of having a North Star to eternally work towards. You will always know what your plan is 24 hours a day.

How do you begin to flush out your identity? Ask yourself, "Why am I doing/eating this?" Asking yourself this question before taking that shaky next step will allow you to remain crystal clear and focused on every single item and situation that comes across you throughout the day. This approach activates your "mental filter" to determine whether an idea (or food) is worth pursuing.

Saying "no"

Food Choice
Why am I eating this?

This approach also empowers you to prioritize the item/food in question. 

To delve deeper into understanding your identity and values, think about a time you were:

  1. Motivated while working towards losing weight or sticking to your meal plan.
  2. Involving more physical activity in your life and embracing healthier behaviors.

Now, as you remember that time, think about the last thing you felt just before you were motivated to embark upon that behavior. Can you name that feeling? Think about what is important to you about that feeling. Concentrate on seeing, hearing, and feeling what you felt at that time. Taking this approach will help you uncover what is most vital to you.

Second:  Respect the other person's reason for asking you to deviate from your plans

This outlook will allow your conscious and subconscious mind to sidestep the knee-jerk reaction (or sense of dread) of feeling a sense of obligation to "give in" to the person's request and say "yes." Learning to view events through this lens prevents you from deviating from your goals.

It is also essential to understand the other person's reason for asking you to deviate from your goals. Taking this approach will help you artfully say "no."

One way to shed light on the other person's reason for asking you to deviate from your plans or healthier lifestyle is to ask, "Tell me more about that?" If the person keeps insisting that you change to suit their needs, another question to learn why the issue is so important is to ask, "How is this a problem for you?"

Notice, I didn't recommend starting the question with the word "why." The reason is prefacing a question with the word "why" in potentially tense situations isn't as effective at opening communication lines because it puts the person asked into the need to defend their position. This isn't what you want. 

What you want is to open the lines of communication between you and that person, so they have the opportunity to share with you why something is important to them. This helps the person feel heard and increases the likely hood of being open to your viewpoint.

Third:  Remember, you are in charge of your thoughts

Remember what saying "no" will do for you. Will saying "no" give you more confidence and self-esteem? Will it give you energy for your workout the next day? Will it give you more time to meal prep? Will it give you a chance to work on learning a new skill that will help you achieve more money or more financial security? 

It is crucial to stay in control and in charge of your thoughts. Many people's thoughts turn to what they will lose when they say "no" to something. Once people learn to focus on what will be gained by saying "no," every step towards maintaining their goals becomes more manageable as the brain rewires itself into this new way of thinking.

Fourth:  Engage in behavioral flexibility.

Instead of simply saying no, try a little bit of "mental jujitsu." Suggest alternative solutions but in a language pattern that the person typically speaks in to decrease the sting of saying no.

For example, have you ever noticed when people are having a conversation with you, they will say, "Ah, I see how that can be a problem," or "I hear you." Language – better known as language patterns, can give glimpses into how anyone communicates and perceives their world. People generally fall into one of three categories in the way they internalize and categorize information; 

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic

Visual people will often pepper their sentences and phrases with words such as "I see how that can be a problem for you." Or, this appears to fill in the blank. It's always visual in nature.

Auditory people will often pepper their sentence sentences with. "I hear you." Or, "I am all ears," or "that rings the bell."

Kinesthetic people may pepper their language with "I feel you." Or, "that is something I can get a hold of."

Let's turn this around and examine this further. Being able to pay more attention and become aware of a person's language patterns empowers you to have an easier way to communicate. Instead of saying "no," you'll be able to make suggestions for alternative plans – but in a way that people will naturally gravitate towards.

Implementing these suggestions will help prevent the vicious circle of trying to avoid failing to meet people's expectations and therefore giving in to meet their expectations. 

These suggestions will work because you are effortlessly reprogramming your mind to craft solutions instead of being stuck in the problem as your comfort level increases using these approaches. While at the same time, you will be able to uphold your identity and values to stay focused on your priorities. Simultaneously, you broaden and open up the lines of communication with the person you're interacting with to craft solutions that are satisfactory and pleasing to both of you. Therefore, everyone wins!

Saying "No"
Kristen Grant


Dr. Kirsten Grant is a researcher, speaker, consultant, author, obesity expert, founder of Phoenix Six, LLC, and host of “The Dr. Grant Show.” Her passion is helping women (and a few brave men) that struggle with food addiction and food addiction symptoms (overeating, food bingeing, food cravings, anxiety, emotional eating, stress eating, and withdrawal).