Keto and Low Carb Success

Three Important Concepts for Success

November 10, 2022 Miriam Hatoum Season 1 Episode 24
Keto and Low Carb Success
Three Important Concepts for Success
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 24: Three Important Concepts for Success

This episode is about locus of control, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. I know… too sciencey and not what you signed up for, but believe me, you will want to listen to this one. Remember in last week’s coaching advice I talked about it being time to start writing your own roadmap? These three concepts will give you incredible insight into knowing your own character, and what it will take to make you successful while being in the driver’s seat, not in the passenger seat of the latest greatest promises.

1:46.       Locus of Control
2:16.       Cognitive Dissonance
2:48.       Confirmation Bias

What does each of these have to do with being a success with your goals or with standing in your way of reaching them?
3:04.       Locus of Control
6:52.       Cognitive Dissonance
9:27        Confirmation Bias

12:08.    The most dangerous Confirmation Bias
15:20.     What mistakes are we making and why?
20:43.     This week's Valuable Free Offer
21:30.     Episode 25, coming up

Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
THIS WEEK'S VFO:  Good-Better-Best Method
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Facebook page
Roadmap To Diet Success Instagram

ACCESS Transcript Here
Émile Coué

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Episode #: 24.    Locus of Control, Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias

 You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success, Episode #24, Locus of Control, Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias.


 Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

 Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!


I am going to jump right into today’s episode because there are a lot of terms in today’s episode that I want to explain and show how they impact every dieter’s decision and resolve to be successful. Just let it be said that I have had my fair share of the impact of each of these: locus of control, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

 After defining each term I will go back and tell you how it affects your choices and outcomes.

 1:46     What is Locus of Control?

·       Locus of Control refers to the extent to which people feel they have control over the events that influence their lives.

·       Internal locus of control means that you have a belief that your own actions determine the outcomes you have.

·       External locus of control means that you believe that other people and circumstances outside of yourself determine the outcomes you have.

 2:16     What is cognitive dissonance?

·       Cognitive dissonance is psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

·       It is usually caused by a mismatch in beliefs and behaviors. Think about how I asked you to ladder your affirmations in the last episode. This was to avoid cognitive dissonance, and will make a successful outcome more likely.

 2:48    What is confirmation bias?

·       Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for proof that confirms your beliefs.

 What does each of these have to do with being a success with your goals or with standing in your way of reaching them?

 3:04    Locus of Control 

o   We may not know to label this as locus of control, but we see it a lot.

o   Locus of Control is working in the background when we say things like

§  She made that dessert special for me and I had to eat it …

§  My kids like potatoes, bread, dessert and all that stuff so I serve it and I just have no control around it …

§  I didn’t expect to go out to eat and hadn’t planned for it …

§  It just looks so good …

§  I always eat at night …

§  No one supports me …

§  And my favorite, The devil made me do it …

o   Can you see what is going on here? You blame everyone for your eating behavior (even the devil!) and take no responsibility for it yourself.

§  Yes, your mom made your special dessert, but you could say “No thank you” or “I’ll take it home and have it later.”

§  Yes, there is a lot of great food at the dinner table. Either don’t serve things that tempt you or remind yourself why it would be best for you not to eat them and then just don’t eat them.

§  Maybe you didn’t expect to eat out but is there something on the menu that would fit your eating plan? Even pizza places serve salads with grilled chicken on top. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t plan something. Just make good choices.

§  Yes, the food does look good. So what? 

§  Have you absolutely no control over your nighttime eating habits? Have you tried? If you tried and failed you are picking the wrong strategy. Decide that you won’t eat after dinner. Maybe eat dinner a little later so that you won’t be tempted. I have news for you, the food is not actually calling your name from the kitchen.

§  No support? Why are you making other people responsible for what you put in your mouth? It is your hand and your mouth. It’s up to you to decide what to eat. Support has nothing to do with it, not really.

§  Come on. The devil made you do it? Really?

o   I know I sound harsh with some of this, but do you see how foolish it is to blame everyone and everything thing outside of yourself for not following your eating plan? 

o   Locus of control is like a muscle. Exercise the internal version of it whenever you are aware of that particular personal operating system. Your internal locus of control will get stronger with time. It is not the same as will power, although it is in the same family because it is under your control. Exercising your “No-Thank-You muscle” will help a lot with this. Exercising your “Not-Today muscle” will help. And especially exercising your “I-Can-Do-This muscle” will strengthen your internal locus of control.

o   Don’t be hard on yourself though. Instead, be patient and be determined. 

o   When you strengthen your internal locus of control you might notice other things changing: Such as taking responsibility for how things are unfolding at work or at home, or such as taking responsibility for speaking up for what you want.

o   It can be a little tough and uncomfortable at first, like any exercise, but it will pay off in the end and you will find much more success with your eating plan.

 6:52    Cognitive Dissonance

o   This is what is at work when I told you about how important the laddering technique is when you set your intentions and affirmations.

o   When you are experiencing cognitive dissonance, you might have a general discomfort that has no obvious or clear source and you feel conflicted or confused. You are aware of this conflict but you are not sure about what to do.

o   This is why affirmations do not work if they are too far from what you really see and believe. 

o   At the very least you will have trouble believing them and therefore you will most likely not follow through with your intentions. Further, you might throw out the goals and intentions altogether and not even give them a go.

o   In addition to intentions and goals, let’s take one of the locus of control situations from above. 

§  You serve your family everything they like in a meal, but half of it might be what you are not eating on your plan. 

§  You sit down with the intention and vision of not eating a single thing that you shouldn’t be. 

§  You feel you are successfully exercising your internal locus of control.     

§  But wait, this is the first day on a new plan and do you really believe you can do that? Maybe you say no.

§  The solution is to ask yourself, “Just for tonight, can I not have the bread and only one small serving of one other thing that I would like?”

§  In this case your internal locus of control is working because you are not eating all things in all the quantities that you usually do. You are taking control of the situation, the situation is not taking control of you.

§  Your cognitive dissonance is quieted because yes, you believe that you can at least not have the bread while having one small serving of something else, without eating ALL the things.


o   So the lesson here is to do just what you BELIEVE you can do, while also having the intention to do more next time.

o   Remember Émile Coué from Episode 23: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

o   You want to work with your cognitive dissonance on a moving, developing continuum.

 9:27    Confirmation Bias

o   Confirmation bias is what I have pointed out in all the episodes where I have talked to you about various eating plans. Any eating plan will come up with the science to back it up.

o   For instance, Keto has the scientific evidence to back up that this way is best for reversing type 2 diabetes and eradicating heart disease. A plant-based diet, such as that by Dr. Fuhrman, has its scientific evidence to back up that this way is best for reversing type 2 diabetes and eradicating heart disease. They all have the anecdotal evidence and before and after success pictures to back up their claims as well. 

o   And you, as a follower of one style or another, will defend to the death, why that plan is the best one.

o   I think what we neglect to realize is that one plan or another might be best for us, but maybe not the best for everyone. 

§  This can be physical, such as your body reacts a certain way to gluten or carbohydrates or fruits or vegetables that another person’s body might not.

§  This can be situational, such as convenience and how it fits into your lifestyle.

§  This can be personal, such as, do you like to collect data so you love the need to measure and track, or is that not for you?

§  This can even be financial, such as do you have money for shakes and special products, or are you looking to stretch a dollar to feed a family?

o   It is important to open your mind before digging in your heels and deciding on something based on your own biases. These biases might be

§  Carbohydrates, processed or not, are bad for you

§  Plants and carbohydrate sources are good for you

§  Red meat is bad for you

§  Red meat is your best source of nutrition

§  You must weigh, measure and track your food

§  This guy must really know what he’s talking about it

§  My friend had success with this so I will too

§  This program costs too much

§  This program is free so it probably isn’t worth anything

§  And so on…

o   I challenge you to think all this through and see how it shapes how you approach or pick an eating plan.

 12:08   The most dangerous confirmation bias

o   The most dangerous confirmation bias is the one aimed at ourselves. 

·       Remember, the definition is the tendency to search for proof that confirms your beliefs.

o    Do you come home from a party, having eaten all the things, and say, “See, I told you that you can’t control yourself around that food?”

o   Do you overeat at dinner and say, “See, I told you that there is no way I could not eat what my family is eating?”

o   Do you binge at night and say, “See, I told you that you have no control with urges?”

o   Do you look in the mirror and say, “See, I told you that you’re not getting any thinner?”

o   Do you step on the scale and say, “See, I told you it’s no use to diet?”

·       If you look for proof for your beliefs, you will find it. How about digging a little deeper especially when you have been successful with the “Can I just…” technique.

o   You come home from a party, and you have eaten all the things, but you asked yourself before going, “Can I just drink water or seltzer and also not eat if I am standing up?” Now it is, “See, I told you that you can control yourself.”

o   You overate at dinner, but you asked yourself before dinner, “Can I just have the potatoes and not the bread?” Now it is, “See, I told you that you can pass up one or two things that the family is eating.”

o   You ate something at dinner, but you asked yourself after dinner, “Even if I have something to eat later, can it just not turn into a binge?” Now it is, “See, I told you that you are starting to deal with nighttime eating urges.”

o   You looked in the mirror and didn’t like what you saw, but you asked yourself, “Can I just find one thing that I like about my appearance?” Now it is, “See, I told you that your smile is great. People always notice it.”

o   You stepped on the scale and didn’t see any weight loss, but before you even looked you told yourself that weight gain is fast but weight loss is slow and asked yourself, “Just for this weigh-in, can I let the number go and instead look at the things I did right this week?” So now it is, “See, I told you that the number doesn’t matter. Eventually it will reflect that I didn’t eat seconds and that I drank water instead of soda.”

·       Baby steps, my friend. As the lane narrows between your cognitive dissonance and what is, you will grow more confident and happier with the results you are looking to achieve. In turn, your cognitive bias toward things will weaken, and you will be happier with a more open mind.

·       The intentions and goals won’t be so far in left field that you give up and think they will never become possible.

 15:20   What mistakes are we making and why?

·       We tend to fall into hopeless and helpless thinking when we are faced with an overwhelming task or change in our behavior. It is easy to throw up our hands and play the blame game (like with food pushers) or the helpless game (like with being faced with foods that we might be trying to limit or eliminate).

·       We don’t realize this concept of locus of control, and that most often we have the choice of whether to accept it as external or work to make it internal.

·       We tend to jump all the way to the end goal which seems – and oftentimes, is – impossible. Because we can’t get there all in one leap, we tend to give up or, worse yet, beat ourselves up yet again, for falling short. The trick is to make it so that there is no room to fall short in between the cracks of what we believe is possible and what is possible. Put the steppingstones close together and put as many of them as will fit. This will lessen cognitive dissonance for you.

·       We have rarely been taught that baby steps are ultimately more successful than giant steps. 

·       We don’t take the time to explore things and make our own decisions based on what is good for our bodies, habits, lifestyles and likes and dislikes. We are exposed to so many things, with their own biases. It becomes difficult to see through the muck or to make decisions for ourselves.

·       It reminds me of Henry Ford’s saying, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” There is anything to backup everything.

·       We live in a media-driven age. We are inundated with before and after pictures, promises of the latest and greatest solutions and questionable – but sometimes valid – research to back up claims. Gather it all in, sort through it, see the truths and non-truths, and make your own decisions.


·       Something I learned as a teacher is that there is no better way to learn something than by the compare-and-contrast method. So here we go again with the tables and charts.

·       On one page one I want you to have the heading “Locus of Control.” 

o   Then across the top write: Situation, Internal Locus of Control, External Locus of Control, and Does This Serve Me?

o   In Column 1 write 2 or 3 situations. 

o   In Columns 2 and 3 pinpoint whether your feelings about it are internal or external. 

o   In Column 4, note whether that particular locus is serving you and if not, how can you change it.

·       On the second page put the heading “Cognitive Dissonance.” 

o   Across the top write: Goal/Affirmation, Do I believe it? and What steppingstones can I put to get me there? 

o   Fill out each column with your answers.

o   If you go back to Episode 18, Kaisen and review your coaching advice for that week, or read the transcript, you will see that this is very similar to MAPPING. It is breaking down one goal into many steps. It is also reflected in Episode 5, Setting Goals.

·       On the third page have the heading “Confirmation Bias.” 

o   Across the top write My Confirmation Bias, Is it True?/Why? and What Might Be The Other Side?

o   This can be a little harder to uncover so if you need some practice take something that is not necessarily emotionally charged. An example could be

§  Toyota is the best company to buy from 

§  I believe this to be true because I have always bought Toyota brand

§  The other side might be that other brands are better for price, attention to environment, service contracts, etc. 

o   Then maybe move it into a food issue:

§  Plant-based is the best diet

§  My friends have a lot of success with it

§  The other side is that I will miss my meat products and there is research on that side that red meat is not dangerous to consume.

o   As with everything we have done up to now, you can see that just building awareness about some of these things will lead you to the best practices and best decisions for your successful journey. Nothing is absolute.  Be open to some changes you can make – either in your behavior or beliefs.

 20:43  This week’s VFO (Valuable Free Offer) 

This week’s VFO is the Good-Better-Best Method booklet. We are heading into the holiday season, and indeed the next few episodes will address this. It is a good time to review the method and make sure you are familiar with how to proceed with it and how it will help you get through all the dinners and parties that are coming up starting with Thanksgiving this month. Be sure to do the worksheets that are in the booklet. Download the Good-Better-Best Method booklet from The direct link, as always, is in the show notes and transcript.

21:30   Next week’s episode

 Next week’s episode is about eating when you are not hungry, parties and how to use your protocol. We are heading into the holiday season, and this will be important advice to keep your head about you. Yes, I have been asking you to pay attention and eat when hungry and stop at enough. But when do you break that sort of instruction? Can your protocol about eating go beyond just putting food on it? Face the holidays with some information and tricks in your pocket. 

 So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.

 And, if you like what you hear, please like and subscribe, and remember to leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find the show.  Also, don’t be a stranger. Come on over to my Facebook page, Breaking Free from Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to see on the show.

 Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time. 

Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
THIS WEEK'S VFO:  Good-Better-Best Method
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Facebook page
Roadmap To Diet Success Instagram

ACCESS Transcript Here
Émile Coué