Psychology Of Weight Loss
This article discusses the psychology of weight loss and how can we help ourselves to maintain the weight that we accomplished. This is done using mind exercises that will develop the acceptance of the new body image.
Eating right and exercising are very important pillars for good health.
When we lose weight, sometimes is difficult to keep it off for a long period of time. We begin to feel shame that the results of our efforts did not last.
Sometimes we find that is not easy to walk away from unhealthy food.
We have to improve our self-esteem and take control of our lives.
For that we have to make a commitment to ourselves: to be present to avoid distractions and feelings of dissatisfaction that push us to overeat.
What do thin people do different to maintain a healthy weight?
Thin people have a natural mechanism to keep their weight off by using behaviors that regulate their optimal daily caloric intake.
Thin people have developed the habits that makes them eat just the right amount of food to maintain their weight.
In general, thin people will eat less. If they eat a lot in one day, they will either delay their meals, or naturally eat foods that are low in calories. They most likely developed this habit when they were young. They tend to do more exercise, chew their food slower, and eat more natural foods.
We can not eat whatever we want and expect to have a healthy weight unless we learn to love healthy foods and eat in moderation.
Our Brains Do Not Want Us To Lose Weight
Our efforts are sabotaged by a complex mechanism that wants to restore our bodies to the original weight after a period of diet.
Advantages in Psychology and Neuroscience found interesting data that can help us to find the answer. Studies have shown that there are hidden mechanism for homeostasis, (the tendency of the systems of the body to maintain internal stability) through functions of the different parts of the body when there are stimulus or situation that disturbs its normal condition and/or functions.
Our body does not want to lose weight. Our brains are programmed to regain weight because the body has its own psychology of hidden self image. It has it’s own idea of how much our body should weigh.
Studies at Columbia Medical Center show that after we lose weight, there is an initial release of dopamine. The brain interprets this weight loss as a threat of survival. This creates negative emotions that stimulates you craving to eat in order to create pleasure.
After you lose weight, there are biological mechanisms that activated for the function of gaining back the lost weight that we had before the diet. Energy conservation mode and starvation mode kicks in to regulate the internal system.
This causes hunger pangs and the body conserves the energy created.
This is an internal regulator that pushes you to find comfort.
This mechanism, along with the stresses of: daily life, work, business, social interactions, and the relationships with our spouses/ children/ coworkers add to the stress. Too much stress will push us to look for comfort in eating more, especially eating comfort foods if we do not find comfort in other areas of our lives. This will cause weight gain.
We have to develop the psychological ability to maintain the weight off by creating habits that will go against the urges to create lasting success.
Sustain Weight Loss Applying Psychology
During and after the process of losing weight, we have to apply psychology if we want to keep the weight off.
Formerly overweight people have an inner body perception that they have a larger body because the brain did not catch up with the weight loss.
The internal body image can be improved in 8-10 weeks.
In a quiet place, we have to relax for a moment and pay attention to our breathing, then, we must ask ourselves “how do I want to look?”, “how do I deserve to look?” and “how do I desire to feel?”. Then we use imagination to visualize and feel the answer.
This daily technique will bring the upgrade of the new self image into the brain naturally through the days to come. This will cause good feelings and you will feel proud of yourself. This will help us keep the good daily habits of eating healthy and doing exercise to maintain the new weight.
The use of imagination/visualization daily will align the biology of brain and body with the conscious and subconscious mind.
Sometimes our conscious mind generates thoughts that are not truth. We have to recognize the good thoughts and keep them, while getting rid of the bad thoughts by asking: “why am I thinking this way?”, “is this thought helping to achieve my goal or is blocking it?”, and “What can I learn from this bad memory?”
We have to reset our unconscious and conscious by asking: “Do I feel attractive and sexy?” and then answering the question with something along the lines of “Of course, I feel attractive and sexy. “
In the process of losing and maintaining a healthy weight, we have to feel worthy of having the body we desire even if we are still in the process.
How To Avoid Sabotaging The Weight Loss
In order to succeed effectively, you must to learn to recognize triggers. People or foods can trigger us to overeat or have food cravings of the bad foods that we should not eat.
Losing weight can trigger fears of intimacy.
Stress can sabotage our weight loss if we do not recognize and deal with it.
There can be problems with weight loss resistance leading to sugar addictions.
We have to educate ourselves about nutrition and know our own limits.
Sometimes we try too hard that we fail, but we must persist. We must find a solution. During these times, it is important to stay calm and breathe.
The problem with gaining and losing weight, is that having the weight on and off can create a feeling of doubt in ourselves. We have to know ourselves, including the strengths and weakness.
It is necessary to develop an internal self worth. Pat yourself on the back when reaching a goal as a friend would do. We have to be our own best friend by encouraging ourselves.
We Have The Commitment To Keep The Weight Off.
Even if we have the commitment to keep the weight of, some of the people in our lives can be comfortable with our unhealthy weight, and without knowing it, they can help us sabotage our progress/commitment to ourselves. If we are empowered, these people can feel threatened .
Fear can arise when we commit to ourselves. The biggest fear is the fear of being more attractive.
Fear can arise when we fail or we are ashamed. We fear success too sometimes. We fear disappointment to yourself or others
There is not “try to do”. There is “do” .
“Do” or “not do” but never “try”.- Yoda
We can avoid sabotage by supporting and encouraging ourselves. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy. By talking to our loved ones, explaining the situation, and asking for their support; by making new supporting friends; by joining a community that support our goals and commitment; and by having support by a health expert or coach, we can support ourselves.
Develop Self Worth
You develop self worth with self-respect when we honor and respect ourselves. We can find happiness in small accomplishments. We must enjoy life when it brings good experiences and find the life lesson when life give us lemons. We have to be grateful and appreciative.
We take care of our bodies by eating healthy foods that nourishes your body, having enough rest, relaxation and sleeping well
Our self talk should be respectful and encouraging, avoid negative self talk.
We have to take care of ourselves. When we are healthy and take care of ourselves we can accomplish more and we feel better.
We have to give ourselves permission to accept a better us.
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We discussed in this article about the Psychology Of Weight Loss.