When you are faced with a problem that you don’t know how to solve, what do you do?

This episode is all about weight loss problem-solving.

Sometimes we come up against a problem that we don’t know how to handle and then we start to tell ourselves that we just can’t do it. Trust me, it happens to all of us. I want to share some problem-solving methods to help you overcome those obstacles instead of letting them stop you.

I’m sharing some examples of thought processes that are holding you back and teaching you how to reframe your thinking to take control. The simple problem-solving methods that I’m sharing in this episode have worked for me more times than I can count, so I can’t wait for you to try them too!

Listen To The Episode Here:

Topics We Cover in This Episode:

  • Examples of problems that interfere with your eating habits 
  • How to change your mindset when you face problems 
  • Identifying the way you’re thinking 
  • How to solve a problem rather than be defeated by it
  • Taking your power back
  • What it means to adopt a “yes, and” mentality 
  • How to handle a problem that feels too big 
  • Reverse engineering your thinking


Next time you come up against a problem that seems like it’s here to ruin all your progress, think about the approaches from this episode and try one of them out! You’ll be amazed how quickly your brain can come up with a solution when you reframe your thinking. 

If you want to learn how to break the cycle of losing and gaining weight and finally lose weight permanently, you’re invited to register for The Missing Piece to Permanent Weight Loss free training on November 15th or 16th. Register for a time that works for you at katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight

If you’ve read my book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, it would mean the world to me if you would leave me a review letting other readers know what you thought! Click here to leave a review on Amazon.

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Other Episodes We Think You’ll Enjoy:

Ep #303: Burnout vs. Moral Injury with Dr. Jimmy Turner

Ep #302: When It’s Not What You Expected

Ep #301: A Sneaky Way You’re Sabotaging Yourself


Read the Transcript Below:

Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I’m your host, master Certified Life and Weight Loss coach Katrina Gabel, M.D. This is the podcast where busy doctors like you come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you’re looking to overcome your stress, eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place. Well, hello there, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here today. Do you know what I just did this last weekend? I just went to my 20th med school reunion and it was actually really fun. It was actually really fun. I thought there would be more people there from my class. There were a ton of people there for the whole school. But you know, what I’m thinking is that 20 years out, people are like busy with family needs and different things. And I noticed that a lot of the classes that were celebrating more, you know, higher number of milestones were better represented, let’s just say. And so I was thinking, hey, you know, what’s the difference? A lot of them, they don’t have kids at home anymore. It’s probably easier for them to go away for the weekend. Anyway. It was really fun. Met some new people as well. I got to go to a michigan football game where they beat Penn State. Sorry, Penn State fans.


It was a really good game. We had a really great time. I actually that’s probably something you don’t really know about me. I really do enjoy me some football. I mean, I’m certainly no like, fanatic or anything, but I do enjoy some football. Well, because where I went to college, I went to Johns Hopkins and they football was not really too much of a thing there. But lacrosse was a big deal. When I went to Michigan for med school, I took advantage of the fact that I could get season tickets, like student tickets, and I got student tickets all for years. And it really kind of gave me that sort of traditional college experience type of a thing. It was just super fun. I really enjoyed every minute of it. And so being able to go back to a game again, I don’t know, I just really loved it. It was really fun. It was beautiful weekend, too. So just coming off of that and as this is coming out live, this will be coming out just two days after we finished up our extravaganza event, which is our master’s live event that we offer to all of our masters and continuation clients. This is a book themed whole weekend event that we decided to really kind of stretch out and make it to a whole big deal and I’m super excited for it. It’s going to be so, so fun.


So if you are one of my clients who’s going to be coming to join us, I can’t wait. Well, I would by the time you listen to this, I’ll have already given you a hug. We’ve already had a good time together. So welcome back home. All right. Couple things. What I want to tell you actually just one thing so I often well, every now and then offer a free training called the Missing piece to permanent weight loss. And I’d like to invite you to it if you’ve never been before. This is your sign that you’ve been waiting for. This is the time. So it’s going to be offered on November 15th and 16th at a couple of different times. So we have heard you loud and clear that you can’t always make it at a certain time. And so no matter where you are in the world, hopefully we’ve got a time available where you can come and and experience it for yourself. And it’s really just a great opportunity for you to learn what you need to know so that you can lose weight and actually solve this weight problem for good. Right? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in gaining and losing anymore. I’m just, Oh my God, the number of years I spent on that, No thanks. Done with that. Not doing that anymore. So you’re definitely going to want to sign up for that and to register yourself.


Just go to Katrina. You imdb.com forward slash lose weight loss e w e g h t. And again, like I said, that’s on November 15th and 16th. So you just have to pick one day and time that’s going to work for you and come and learn some amazing, amazing information. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about how to work with me and the weight loss or doctors only program, then you’re going to want to check that free training out as well because you’ll learn more about it at the end. Now, if you’re not interested in that or it’s just not your thing, whatever, no big deal, you can just leave after that part. But if you are interested in learning more, that would be a great opportunity for you because our next group will be starting in January. What I think is amazing about that is that so often we are like, you know, scrambling, right? We just feel so bad about ourselves throughout the whole holidays and just, you know, our eating and we know we’re gaining or we just aren’t happy or maybe people are making comments, family members or whatever. We don’t know what to do. And oh my goodness, my dog, he’s sorry. He’s not usually up here with me. He’s not feeling well today. So he’s been a little clingy and he’s like making a lot of noise, so I’m just going to talk over it anyway.


Anyway, the point is that usually we are just not sure what we’re supposed to be doing. And then January hits and we’re feeling terrible about ourselves and trying to figure it out. What I love is that when you’re already all set up and you know what you’re going to be doing, it’s just it already makes the holiday so much easier for you because you just know, like, you know what, in January, I’m going to start really making some serious progress on this. And I’ve had many, many people tell me, like once they decided that they were going to enroll in weight loss for doctors only, they were just like all of a sudden things started clicking. Like the commitment I needed to make. So just to find out more, whether you decide you want to come and join us or not, you’ll want to make sure that you hear more about it. I have this retraining missing piece to permanent weight loss. Okay, let’s talk about weight loss, problem solving, because this is something that comes up actually quite a bit in the sense that it’s easy for us to come up against some sort of problem. Something changes even maybe if things are going great for a while and then we bump up against some sort of obstacle and we don’t know what to do anymore about it, right? We’re like, This is the proof that I’m not going to be able to do it.


I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it. And here we go. Right? So here are some examples of ways of thinking that might be holding you back. And I just want to say that they are ways of thinking because, you know, when we think the problem is just what it is and that we don’t have any other way to perceive it, that makes it really, really challenging. Here’s this problem outside of myself and and then that thing has to change in order for me to have success. It’s not particularly helpful. So here’s an example of a literal comment that I got from somebody that says, I eat with my family and don’t cook for myself. So this is a problem for them because they’re thinking that like the family, you know, whoever in the family is cooking is making whatever they want to make. I’m not the one cooking, therefore I don’t have any control. Right. So that’s an example. Another example is feeling like you’re at the mercy of patient needs, at the mercy of your schedule, at the mercy of taking call. Right. Not knowing when you can eat at work, having emergencies coming up, you know, with some regularity. Right. I mean, all of these things, man.


Amanda, I remember this stuff, right? I cannot tell you how many times it was. Like all of a sudden I got way behind in the morning, and then there were some things I had to do at lunchtime. And then, you know, it’s 1:00 and we’ve got to get started. They’re already rooming the 1:00 checkups. That’s like a, you know, like a triple or something. So if you don’t get going, you’re going to totally mess up your whole afternoon. Right. Thinking that this is the reason why you just have to gobble down whatever’s available like a handful of peanut M&Ms or like, whatever is the easy thing there, Right? Other obstacles, other problems that come up. A big one I hear about so much is kids sports schedules. This was something that I think a lot of parents didn’t even realize. Or maybe they did realize that when it was happening, but didn’t realize so much when COVID was happening and things were all canceled, like how nice that was to not have all the sports and all the activities to run the kids too, or just being in the car the whole time or running around getting this kid there and that kid there and this kid the other place. And now it’s already, you know, eight or 9:00. And you got to figure out, you know, you need to not only feed yourself, but feed them, too.


And what are you going to do? Right. And time is just a big one to just all these problems that come up with time not having time and and feeling like you’re stretched all over the place. So here’s what I’m trying to say. I’m not saying that these are not challenges. I’m not saying that these aren’t things that really are legitimate issues for you, things that you struggle with. But what I want to invite you to today is a different way of thinking about it, right? I want to invite you to think about these things as something to solve instead of being the reason why you can’t have the success that you want. Right. Or telling yourself, Well, just with the way my life is, now just isn’t the time to think about getting my food under control or getting my eating under control, or getting my weight under control. So what we want to do instead is we want to go, Hey, you know what? There’s a problem here. There’s an obstacle. All I need to do is solve for it. I don’t need to blame it for why I don’t have what I want or why I can’t have what I want. This is really, really important because it’s just a shift in the way that you think your schedule is the same. The kids activities schedules are the same. Your patient needs and your schedule at work is the same.


The person who’s cooking, you know, the meals in your family, that is all the same. But we don’t have to look at it like we can’t have it. We go, okay, that’s the thing. And we need to just find a solution and maybe not even one solution. I’ve shared this before on the podcast. I like to think about it like there’s not just one solution that I have to find. That to me feels to needle in a haystack, right where it’s just like, Well, sure, I’m sure there’s some solution, but how am I ever going to figure it out? We don’t have to think about it that way. I like to think about it like there’s an infinite number of solutions, and all I have to do is find one. And if infinite feels out of the realm of belief for you, then maybe think I’m sure there’s 100 solutions or 50 or ten even there’s ten solutions, and I just have to find one. All I have to do. So how do we move away from blaming the problem for why we can’t have what we want to actually solving for it? Well, what we have to do is we have to understand the dynamic that we’ve created with it in the way that we’re thinking. And so when we give something else outside of us, the power to determine if we can have what we want or not, right, then we’ve given all of our power away.


And what we want to do is take our power back. So many of my clients will recognize that this is a victim villain dynamic that is set up when you’re blaming these things outside of you, somebody else cooks. This is what it’s like for me when I’m at work. This is my family schedule or my aging parents need me or emergencies come up all the time. I have to take more call because we’re short stuff, like whatever it is, when we give those things the power to control how we experience our lives, then we are victims of it, right? We’ve created a villain in the way that we’re thinking. Like, the problem is my schedule. The problem is that we’re short staffed and I don’t have a nurse right now. And because that’s the problem, then that needs to change in order for me to feel better. Right? For me to have success, they need to find a good nurse, Right? A nurse that I really like that can work with me in my schedule or I need to not be so overbooked or the kids. You know, gymnastics calendar has to change or whatever it is like, no, that is not going to be helpful for us because there’s always going to be new problems coming up. And then we’ll just have new villains.


We’ll just switch from one villain to the next. And so what it means to take your power back is to no longer create the victim villain mentality in our minds. That means no longer thinking about the outside thing as a villain, like the big bad thing that deserves the blame when we take our power back. Then we get to feel empowered. That’s what that word means. And so when you’re feeling more empowered, you have the opportunity to ask yourself questions that can actually help you to move forward. Otherwise, we just kind of accept it. We just sort of lay down and go, Well, maybe once my kids are out of the house. Maybe once they can, you know, fix the short staffing problem and then it feels terrible. Right. And we usually just eat more to try to feel better. And what I want to encourage you to do instead is to think about this in terms of. Yes. And. Right. So we’re not telling ourselves like the kids, sports schedules are not a problem. Yeah, it’s a challenge with your family and you don’t cook for yourself. Okay. Yeah, that can be a challenge, but I like to think of it as yes, that is happening. And what am I going to do moving forward? Right. Again, if there were so many solutions and all I have to do is try one out, what could one solution be? What I find with my clients when we are thinking about things in this way.


I mean, right away solutions start to come. As soon as we stop telling ourselves that somebody else or something else is to blame, and then we’re just the victim of that, all of a sudden our brains can start to come up with great solutions. And here’s the thing. As doctors, we are smart people. We come up with solutions all the time. We’re solving problems literally all of the time. So this is totally solvable. Yes, that is what’s going on. And what am I going to do moving forward? What is one thing I could try and experiment with and see if that works? And then you try that and if that works, amazing. And if it doesn’t work, what’s the next thing going to be? What’s the next thing that going to be that I’m going to try? And I want to offer another way of thinking about this that I think can actually be really helpful, because sometimes we are really just like, it just feels so big, right? Like, what am I going to do moving for it? I don’t know. I mean, you know, sometimes, right? It just feels like it’s just too much and we just aren’t sure. So in those cases, what I like to do is I like to jump to the finish line.


So what this means is you go to the place where this is solved, okay? So what that means is you go to the place where you are still eating with your family and you’re eating food that’s totally supportive for you and you’re still not cooking for yourself. So you go to that place or you go to the place where, you know, the kids still have all of their same activities and schedules and you’re totally have your food under control. You feel well supported in that area. You’re getting the results that you want, whether that’s weight loss or weight maintenance, you’re getting those results. You’re feeling like in terms of your time, you feel like you’re being efficient and you’re getting your charts all closed out on time and you feel like you’ve outsourced what you can and things feel manageable. Okay, go to that place. Then you ask yourself, okay, this is what it’s like there. And then you say, And how did I do it? This has happened. How did I do it? And you’ll be so surprised what ideas will come to you? I’ve done this so many times where it just feels like it’s too much. I’m never going to get it done. How am I ever going to finish whatever the thing is? Okay, I got it done by the deadline. How did I do it? And so what you’re doing then is you’re just reverse engineering.


What you’re doing is you’re starting from a place of possibility. Sometimes when it feels so impossible, we just don’t even. We’re just stuck, right? We’re kind of frozen. We don’t know what to do and we can’t think of anything. When you go to the place where not only was it possible, but it’s done. It has happened, then you start to reverse engineer that. So what has happened? How did I approach other people? How did I ask for support from other people? Or how did I create support systems in my life for myself? How did I get myself to be more efficient? How did I make it so that having the food on hand that I need to support me is easy and repeatable and it’s like on autopilot? How did I create that? And you just let your brain tell you the answers. I know it sounds a little crazy. You might be thinking right now like, Hmm, what is she talking about? But seriously, just give it a try, right? If overeating at work is a problem, say you’re just, you know, finding yourself munching on things as you go throughout the day. Okay. I had a week straight where I took amazing care of myself. I ate in a way that was really supportive for me. I did not feel like I was deprived in any way, restricted in any way. I felt like it was a great week.


What did I do? How did I approach when there were emergencies? When I went over in clinic, when a case went long? You know, when this emergency came up, how did I do it? And just let your brain answer. And if an answer doesn’t come right away, you just let that kind of like cook on the back burner, so to speak. Like those are the kinds of things where all of a sudden you’re driving and you’re like, I know what I could do, right? Or you’re on a walk or you’re in the shower or, you know, brushing your teeth or those mindless tasks where your brain is like, Huh, I’ve got it. You just let your brain do that for you instead of just deciding. This just means that it’s not possible for me. So these are the two ways you can look at this? Yes. And what am I going to do moving forward? Yes. This is an obstacle. Yes. This is a problem that I’m experiencing. And what am I going to do moving forward? What are the next steps? Alternatively, we go to the place where it’s already solved. We’ve already figured it out. We already have the experience that we want to have, and then we ask ourselves, how did we do it? And just reverse engineer the heck out of that thing and start trying some of those things.


I can’t even tell you how many times that alone has created so much clarity for me. It’s like, boom, there we go. Problem solved. Totally got it handled. And that can happen for you too. So I can’t wait for you to give this a try. It’s so good, right? All those problems, all those obstacles, all those reasons why we think we can’t do it. Nope. And for all of my clients, definitely bring this to coaching because, of course, your coach can help you with this as well. And I can help you with this as well. What do we do moving forward? And if it were already done, it’s not even as possible. It’s done. How did we do it? I’m always surprised. But then also kind of not surprised how well this tool works. So can’t wait for you to give this one to try and make sure to register for the missing piece to permanent weight loss free training. It’s on November 15th and 16th. At various times you get to choose. So just go to Katrina. You Bell, MD. For lose weight loss GHC can get yourself registered. All right, give it a try. Tell me what you think. I can’t wait to see how this changes your life. All right. Have a great one. Take care. Talk to you next time. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals. Four Lots of free help. Go to Katrina, Hubble IMDB.com and click on Free Resources.