The Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of Weight Loss
By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®
One of the most common reasons why many of us struggle with weight loss and weight
maintenance is because we fail to look at the: who, what, when, where, how and why we
actually gained the weight in the first place. Once we’re able to ask ourselves these questions
and come up with some insightful answers, we can understand how to finally create a weight
loss plan that actually works. The first place to start is with the who of weight loss.
1. Who triggers you to overeat? It can be a boss who triggers us to grab foods to calm or relax us
after a stressful day at the office. It can be a friend or partner who encourages us to overeat
because they want a “food buddy.” It can be someone who shows their love for you through
the food they’ve prepared and we eat to avoid hurting their feelings.
2. What types of foods you are eating? Are you having a problem with your food choices, eating
too much junk food, takeout, prepared or fast food? Are the foods you’re choosing high in fat
and sugar? Are your portions too big and you’re finding yourself “economy sizing”, “super
sizing” or “value sizing?” Are you choosing foods that don’t satisfy or fill you adequately? Are
you taking in too many liquid calories?
3. When are you overeating? For many people, weight issues stem from over eating the same
foods at the same time. For example, many moms find they over eat their children’s snack
foods, between 3-‐4pm. Others find that late night snacking while watching TV is the place
where they’re taking in too much.
4. Where are you doing most of your overeating? Many people find that they overeat at the
kitchen counter while preparing food and snacks for others. Others find that the living room
couch after a long day is where the damage is done and still others can blame weight gain on
the Saturday night breadbasket at their favorite restaurant.
5. How you’re over eating? You can be eating socially, mindlessly, binge eating or eating
emotionally. With social eating you’re not hungry, but you’re simply eating to be a part of the
group or the experience. You may be concerned about being judged, criticized or questioned if
you don’t eat what everyone else is eating so you use the opportunity to eat foods you’d
normally limit or avoid. With mindless eating, you take in extra food as you’re passing it to
others, when you grab something as you see it on the counter or someone’s desk, eating while
preparing food or eating while reading, watching TV or doing anything else that takes your
attention away from concentrating on what you’re eating. Poor food choices or eating to
improve our feelings or mood are the most common reasons for binge eating. For example, a
diet high in sugar often encourages binge-‐eating behavior because the sugar provides a quick
energy surge followed by an energy crash. That crash encourages a high sugar binge in order to
regain that energy so quickly gained and lost. With an emotional eating binge, we overeat to
calm, numb or relax. It’s used as a means to self soothe and self medicate. It’s a technique
we’ve employed to deal with our stress, fears, anger, frustration or hurt and we eat to
encourage a boost of serotonin, one of the body’s “feel good” chemicals.
6.Why are you overeating? Questioning yourself after a binge is one of the best times to ask
that question. With compassion and without judgment, simply ask yourself “what do I really
need?” or “what was I really looking for?” Rarely is it food and more likely it’s compassion,
security, sleep, friendship, a fulfilling project, satisfying relationship, enriching and meaningful
job, more confidence or simply a call for a better way to handle your stress.
The more we understand the: who, what, when, where, how and why of weight loss, the better
we can create a plan that works for us…not against us. While it may take some effort to come
up with the answers, every answer you find brings you one step closer to gradual yet lasting
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading
health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-‐improvement expert and THE secret behind some of
the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your “10
FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted”! (These are complete programs and
videos) and take the FREE “Mojo Lifestyle Assessment” to see how you score.