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The Psychology of Weight Loss

Germany --- Mid adult woman measuring her waist, close up --- Image by © Knut Schulz/Westend61/Corbis
6 min read

Dieticians, nutritionists and weight loss experts keep confusing us with complicated numbers and food items that cost twice more than our regular grocery items, while the food industry keeps us busy with counting the amounts of sugars, salts, carbs and nutrients added to our meals. If only weight loss was all about math it would be extremely easy to subtract those nasty pounds that make us cringe at our bodies, but sadly, it’s not that simple.
Weight loss is intrinsically connected to our psychology, our values, core beliefs and in every dramatic sense of the word, our emotions, which in the case of women, tend to be rather haywire since they reach out for comfort foods at the slightest of disturbances.
So ladies, chugging down 40 grams of a fiber supplement and 60 grams of protein for breakfast isn’t all you need to do to lose weight, and if you’re experiencing failure, you need to be fair and step into the realm of psychology to reap long-lasting success.

Key Psychological Factors

  • Stress-Busting

Most of us may not know this, but stress has the most meaningful and lasting impact on our weight loss goals. You see, when our body undergoes stressful situations, which could be due to a hectic day at work or unhappiness over our body images, it increases the amount of cortisol, the stress hormones, within our body.
Now, once the cortisol goes up regularly, it increases fat storage metabolism as a survival response made by our body, which prevents it from releasing weight. This slow down our metabolism, creating excessive energy stores throughout our body, which can be spotted as flabs of cellulite on our inner thighs and biceps.
If you’re leading a highly stressful life and wondering why all your weight loss struggles don’t seem to end, girl, you need to save your body from chronic stress by allowing it to relax. First of all, slow down and take out some time for mindful reflection, deep breathing and mental relaxation. This will also help you create a balance between your eating habits and appetite.

Just remember, eating will not help eliminate the stress, it will only increase the unhappiness you feel about your body, creating more stress for the future.

  • Guilty Pleasures

Pleasure is one of the foundational human needs, and it too has a great deal to with both, weight loss and stress reduction. Now as explained above, stress reduction is essential to create an environment within the body that will promote weight loss and speed up fat burning.
When the human body experiences stress, it begins to seek pleasure as a shortcut to escape the fight or flight response, and activate the relaxation response. Naturally, foods that make us squirm with delight as soon as they make contact with our tongues are the best trick to beat stress and promote contentment. A large steak burger oozing out the mustard and garlic mayo, followed by a hot fudge brownie served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream seems like the ultimate trick to escape a stressful situation and feel happy.
Food isn’t the only thing that will help you promote happiness, but in fact, there are several other activities. For instance, you can hit a club with your friends, take a hike through the wilderness with your partner, or stroll through the park with your best friend and just chat out your troubles. This will induce a healthy psychological response with the release of endorphins, which are basically the happy hormones.

  • Behavior Patterns

Experts believe that weight loss success largely involves changing unhealthy behavior patterns, such as drinking more water, eating your fruits and vegetables, preparing clean home-cooked meals, and eliminating all processed foods amongst countless others.
Now all these behaviors have one thing in common: they change the ultimate meal that we consume. So basically, experts believe that behaviors are crucial to making us adopt healthy habits. However, psychology believes that behaviors are shaped by our beliefs, feelings, thoughts and core values, and unless we truly and passionately believe that a habit can bring about a positive impact on our health, we are unlikely to adopt it.
Much like the fact that feeling deserving of happiness is essential to take actions that allow us to happy, believing that are habits will make us lose weight is crucial to achieving weight loss success. You can spend your entire day reading millions of weight loss tips, but until you tune into your feelings and beliefs and bring them in perfect alignment with your need to sculpt the body of your dreams, you cannot implement the good intentions of all those tips and tricks.
Most people believe that will power has something to do with changing behaviors, but it really doesn’t. You see, there is a great deal more to losing weight than eating certain foods and avoiding certain others. Human beings are the most complex and complicated creatures found on Planet Earth, and we require a profound network of compassion and support to boost our feelings, beliefs, and thoughts when it comes to adopting healthy habits that we can practice with consistency.

Some Powerful Psychological Tricks

  • Reassess your Weight Loss Strategy

Break away from all those complicated theories and strategies of losing weight and consider it a simple game of balancing your energy levels. Once you understanding the art of losing weight with energy balance, you will unlock the key to achieving the body of your dreams. The trick is to consume only the calories that you really need to energize your body and to consume less than you burn.

  • Say Goodbye to Diets

Dieting is an unhealthy way to lose weight, and it promotes deprivation that is harmful to both, your psychological and physical health. Instead of limiting your food options, limit your mindset.
It is only natural for us to revert back to our old eating patterns after losing weight in a successful episode of crash diet and lack of exercising. This causes to regain those nasty pounds with a hefty inclusion of more weight. Therefore, the goal must always be the creation of healthy habits that we can practice in the long-term without feeling deprived or unhappy with what’s on our plate. That is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.

  • Munch on Healthy Snacks

Picking out a healthy snack, such as fiber-rich carrots, celery or other veggies, will help fill you up quickly along with promoting satiation with fewer calories. This will trick your stomach into feeling full without eating any of those sugary treats from the vending machine.

  • Exercise must be Fun

If you dread the hour you have to hit the gym or meet your partner for a running marathon in the park, don’t do it. It doesn’t matter how effective a boxing class is or how good a trainer is. If you don’t enjoy your exercise sessions, you will never maintain it with consistency and thus, you will never yield long-lasting weight loss results.
Turn your exercise session into a time that allows you to relax and have fun, so you can perform with enthusiasm and energy. If you like to dance, join a dance class, or play some tennis. A good swim is by far the most luxurious and enjoyable way to burn off those calories.

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