Psychology of Weight Loss & the Trouble With Dieting
You must understand the psychological rules of your mind and how that makes dieting almost impossible.
Sure, pure willpower can help you achieve weight loss success.
But can you really trust that during those stressful moments?
Losing weight isn’t just about changing how much you eat or what you eat. If only it was that simple. To lose weight you have to change the way you think regarding food.
People have all kinds of emotions connected to eating. Emotions like fear, anxiety, or disgust, to name a few. Typical rules of dieting usually don’t work at all, or maybe only in the short term.
I’m guessing you’d love to change your health and take off your weight without putting it all back on a short time later, right?
You have to understand that there are certain psychological obstacles behind your failure to lose weight.
It’s really tough to change your way of eating. Eating is an activity we MUST do. That is if you want to survive. Not-so-healthy habits like smoking or drinking aren’t necessary for survival at all. But, you’ve still gotta eat almost every day to live.
Strict types of dieting aren’t a good option over the long haul. Your body’s always demanding food. Your mind has a huge influence on your ability to think, focus, or enjoy life when you try to ignore these cues. You’re bound to fail this way.
Have you seen when a small baby is really hungry? All hell breaks loose. Food is for survival and it’s part of our DNA to make sure we can find enough. So we need to be careful not to trigger these survival habits or we’ll be driven to eat. And of course, we’ll reach for those sweet, rich, fat-dripping carbs we all crave in those food-scarce times.
In this instance, we’re creating scarcity ourselves by dieting and excessive calorie restriction.
It’s too bad that we humans are totally motivated the most by our emotions. That means stress, anxiety, depression, and other feelings really determine our food choices. Rationality just goes out the window and we make excuses for why we must eat a certain way. Like a tub of ice cream after a break-up.
See, it’s not rational. After all that break-up ice cream you’ll stack on weight instead of moving on and finding another.
The Mind Is A Master At Making Excuses
Your brain is not always governed by reason. That’s why it’s important to create a habit of stopping before you eat something and asking yourself questions like “Is what I’m about to eat a healthy choice for me? Will it help me reach my ideal weight? etc.”
Food choices are often controlled by the unreasonable mind. Many things can happen over the day that weakens your will. These are the times you need to be strong and why it’s so important to work at strengthening positive habits when you’re unstressed.
You see, it’s not about choosing a certain diet and sticking with it. You MUST strengthen your mind first. Or you’ll fail.
There’s no limit just how far we humans will go to appear rational about our weight, unhealthy choices, or to explain away poor eating habits.
You must become aware of how powerful your mind is. It can help you or it can hurt you. It’s always our choice.
The World is Loaded With Triggers Enticing Us To Eat
When you feel hungry, your body releases hormones. These hormones make you notice food a lot more than usual. Let’s thank evolution for this response that keeps us alive. In those past times, it was very important. But, today the world has an amazing abundance of food choices. You can’t ignore them.
The food industry companies spend millions and millions of dollars studying human psychology and then presenting it to us in full delicious color. Doesn’t your mouth start to water as you think of the current food ads? And then, when we get used to an ad after a while, as in less profit for them, they’ll change it to a more attractive version.
Our hormonal response makes us notice food highest in energy, for example, calories and fat not the healthiest choices. Have you seen any expensive ads for leafy greens?
You’ll notice that cupcake and probably ignore the healthy salad. When you’re trying to lose weight, these psychological triggers can be very difficult to beat.
Depriving Yourself Makes Food More Tempting
As soon as you decide certain foods (like carbs) are off-limits, your mind becomes automatically fixed on them. You’ll crave them like a maniac. Far more than if you just enjoyed them in moderation.
Ever tried not to think of your favorite, delicious snack. Try it now! Don’t think of some chocolate ice cream… How did you do? I’m sorry if I’ve now put your attention on ice cream. It was in the name of science.
When you say to yourself you can’t have something, your instinct is to try and sneak in these treats, You’re more than likely to overindulge in the banned food.
Why Do We Think It’s Just All or Nothing?
When we make these strict, rigid rules they’re challenging to follow all the time. We make a simple mistake or wander off plan for a moment, then we’re ready to throw in the towel instead rather of just getting back on track with the plan.
That’s why many people who start 30-day challenges find themselves becoming lazy after a week or so. Then for some reason, they must wait until the beginning of the next month to restart their challenge of eating better. It’s all or nothing, black or white.
Getting to understand how your mind works and the psychological rules that control your thinking are extremely helpful in overcoming these hidden forces. It’ll ensure your success in changing your eating habits.
when possible. Don’t get into the habit of sitting on the sofa as you eat. This leads to overeating as you zone out in front of the TV.