Q&A: Full of excuses


Become curious about the ways in which you justify your overeating, and be open to the possibility that it’s only valid if you want it to be. The addictive thinking is inevitable; it will be very helpful for you to fully expect to have all of these excuses. The more you can observe and perhaps even become fascinated with them, the more you’ll be able to live alongside them and not buy into them as often. All you really need to do is to think, ‘Oh, there’s another one of those excuses’ and then you’ll see that you don’t have to go ahead and overeat.

It’s not the thoughts that matter – it’s whether or not you act on them. Provided you have a strong sense of freedom about what you eat, you will be able to view them as just that: thoughts. Consider that if it’s your fabulous, human ability to think that got you into this trouble, then it’s your fabulous, human ability to think that can get you out of it.


  1. “License to sin: Self-licensing as a mechanism underlying hedonic consumption.” De Witt Huberts JC, Evers C (2012) European Journal of Social Psychology 42(4): 490-496
  2. “Effects of false weight feedback on mood, self-evaluation, and food intake in restrained and unrestrained eaters.” McFarland T, Polivy J (1998) Journal of Abnormal Psychology 107(2): 312-318
  3. “Goals as excuses of guides: The liberating effect of perceived goal progress on choice.” Fishbach A, Dhar R (2005) Journal of Consumer Research 32: 370-377

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  1. Ursula

    Handy advice here, which I need at the moment! It’s that time of year where excuses abound – “What the hell, it’s Christmas” etc etc…. I’m aware of a real pull between thinking this, and not wanting to use it as an excuse for satisfying my addictive desire.

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