The Psychology Of Losing Weight Why It Never Works
I’ll begin my new fab Diet right after the holidays…
There you are, now in your early thirties, married with a small child. You also have a bit of a weight problem which you struggled with your entire life. As you like to say, “I obviously take after my dad and his side of the family.” Your mom as well as your sisters take on her side as they’ve always been thin. They are slim to a fault and are able to eat just about anything they want. But my dad and I will easily gain weight if we even just think about another cookie.
So over the years, you’ve tried almost every diet that’s out there. All the big famous one’s on TV, the one’s featured in The New York Times Best Seller list, and the one’s that your friends recently lost 25lbs on.
So in short, just about everything out there, you can even call yourself a serial dieter. You have also tried colonics, fasting, and tried to not diet at all. You lose weight, but then you’ll just gain it back, so what’s the point, Right?
You most likely heard by now of the “rebound” effect when it comes to constant dieting, the more that you restrict yourself, the more likely that you’ll binge on all the foods which have been on your toxic “Do Not Eat” list.
Another common pitfall is the familiar “I will eat everything that I love today, because tomorrow is the start of my new diet.” When the holidays roll around, that’s usually the same story for most.
But that however doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t lose the weight that you want and guarantee to keep it off.
Why Short Dieting Works
It’s been known for some time now that going on short diets can jump start a healthier lifestyle when it comes to losing weight. What “short diets” do is it gives the dieter hope that they can actually lose weight. It makes them feel like they accomplished something positive and finally gained some control, making them feel a lot better.
Those who have lost this weight and have successfully kept it off has learned how to focus not just on losing a certain number of targeted pounds, or reaching their ideal weight, but rather on finding the ideal eating style which they can follow for the rest of their life.
This to you may sound simple and a little too obvious, but it actually can be pretty complicated. Food is all about nutrition, feeding the body. As we’re all aware, food offers all kinds of psychological as well as emotional meaning.
Developing Proper Eating Habits
So developing an eating style which will work over time needs to take all these issues into account. For those who have minor eating disorders, it was originally thought that the reason was because of underlying psychological reasons when connecting with food.
It was thought that a binge eating session could be an attempt to distant themselves from others, or to express their frustration and anger towards a controlling or hurtful person. But these interpretations as it turns out may be way too simplistic.
Not only are the psychological factors which trigger these eating binges a lot more complex, but recent research suggests that weight, like other physical characteristics such as height, may be determined by genes biology to a certain degree.
Relationships To Overeating
There’s research which supports that there’s a direct link between anxiety, mild depression, and other similar emotions and issues which are related to over-eating. So in order to successfully lose weight and then keep it off, what you need to do is tolerate and dismiss the initial discomforts of being hungry.
What’s also required is that you need to manage as well as control any other uncomfortable feelings of discomfort, which over eating usually helps to fend off. This may just be the most difficult of processes, particularly since eating food soothes as well as comforts us.
What we feel is a lot better once we begin to lose weight. As the intended weight we want to lose begins to come off, the good feelings that this causes are at times replaced by less pleasant ones.
Lets say that you decide to limit your intake of all bad fats as well as sweets, but you do not completely eliminate all of your favorite foods. When you keep these elements in your diet, you don’t feel as deprived and therefore you find yourself not binging on those foods. Once you discover that it’s a slow process, you realize that with several sessions of overeating, you’re gaining weight again. Then the cycle repeats itself.
Finding The Exact Eating Trigger
Say after a year you lose close to twenty pounds, and have finally seemed to have found a food plan which works for you and one that you could maintain, this possibly for your entire life. But then one day, all of a sudden, you begin to start overeating again. You just can’t figure out why or what happened.
What you need to do is go back and pinpoint exactly when you began overeating again. You know that it’s been for a few weeks now, but you haven’t really gone back to all of your old eating behaviors of months ago, it was just that you began eating more than you’ve been.
This may actually be a positive sign. Overeating, someone who’s got a pattern of over eating for emotional reasons, is going to start binging at various times. The fact that you noticed it is important, this since it means you could then begin to understand what may of triggered the eating behavior.
Reasons Why You Overeat
You need to honestly think what was exactly going on in your life right before you began overeating again. It could be something simple as you suddenly getting compliments about your weight loss, or you suddenly didn’t like it when people started looking at you differently.
You began to feel exposed and vulnerable. Like most who are overweight, you felt invisible to the public with your extra padding. You lose a bit of weight and that comfort zone is suddenly gone.
Although you want to feel and look a lot more attractive, you realized that your invisibility was a security blanket which protected you. So what your next task to do is to decide what you need this protection from. And this may be the most difficult question that you need to answer.
You need to go back when you were a child, and remember if you’ve suffered any kind of trauma or even abuse, or any other unusual feelings of being an overweight kid. What was exactly going on. Then over time, you realized that there were three distinct issues which emerged:
• You felt that if you were a slimmer person, people placed higher expectations on you, and you worried that you couldn’t possibly meet them
• You a result felt that you didn’t no longer know yourself any longer, and
• You felt a fear that those people who had supported you in the past as a heavy person wouldn’t no longer be there for you
You may be wondering why suddenly you’ve become aware of all these fears and potential dangers. Why did this trigger the need for eating food again. All you did was unpack the answers to these questions. The most important and the most difficult thing to do is putting your feelings into words, which should help you manage the issues differently.
Just the handling of these feelings may not be enough by themselves to make you lose weight, they will act as a key however to help you keep it off.