The Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of Weight Loss

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Written by Debi Silber

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 you ask yourself the below questions about your overall health and weight, you just may discover a breakthrough!

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 weight loss.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?  

That I have little control over my kids. I can teach, show by example, role model, etc. and then need to sit back and hope they take the path that serves them best.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?  

I appreciate my resilience and determination. I’ve had so many roadblocks and setbacks but I’m so driven to share my message that while I keep getting knocked down, I get up every time.

I’m working on patience! I have a husband, 4 kids, 6 dogs and a business. Patience to understand that I may not be able to get all I want done when I want to is a continual challenge.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?  

My family. I’m married to my best friend (we’re together 30 years!), we have 4 awesome kids and I’m doing the work I love which is helping thousands of others become their personal and professional best. Does it get better than that?! I have so many things I still want to do. I had my first event last May and this May, while the last event was great, I want to make this one even better. I’m also having my first small retreat for 8-10 women this December and I want to fill my group programs with the women who’d benefit from being in them.

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?  

Ha! So many! I’m completely impatient-I do way too much, get too stressed and my health takes a nose dive. This happens often (you’d think I’d learn from it already) but I love what I do and take on too much. I also speak to small and large groups. I get so excited, it’s normal for me to completely trip over my words because I’m so eager to share what I’ve learn/seen to help others. I still strive to get some work/life balance (which I don’t believe in anyway-I feel we’re better off being 100% in the space we’re in vs. being 50% at work and 50% at home and not being fully present anywhere.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my drive, passion for what I’m doing, ability to handle (to the best of my abilities) all these kids, dogs and still stay connected to my husband. I love doing the work I love, inspiring others, making an impact and helping people get to the top of their game physically, mentally and emotionally so they can become their personal/professional best.

About the author

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Debi Silber

Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC, FDN The Mojo Coach® Founder of is a weight loss, fitness, lifestyle, self-improvement expert, speaker, spokesperson, author and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic and successful people today. Sign up to receive videos, strategies, tips and resources to get you lean, fit, energized, healthy and happy!

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