The Psychology of Weight Loss and Dieting — HERE'S THE TRUTH!
How many diets have you tried in the past? Too many to count? You're not alone. Far too many people walk into a weight loss program thinking they're going to see spectacular results and quit not long after because the diet is impossible to adhere to in the long term. There's also a psychology of weight loss and dieting that gets thrown into the equation that is dismissed or misunderstood by many.
Not having the right mindset and mentality going into a diet or weight loss program can set you up to fail before you even start.
In this article, we will discuss the psychology of weight loss and dieting and expose the truths that people need to understand in order to achieve the results they desire.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare professional before trying any diet or weight loss program to ensure you are healthy enough to do so and that the plan will not interfere with any drugs or medications you may have been prescribed for any conditions you may have.
How Can the Psychology of Weight Loss and Dieting Create Issues?
There are many things that go through the heads of those trying to lose weight and get rid of stubborn body fat. There is a certain psychology of weight loss and dieting that needs to be understood and examined for each individual to ensure they are in the right headspace to get the best results possible.
Let's look at some of the issues that can fall under the negative psychology of weight loss and dieting.
1. Poor Relationship with Food
To start this section on the unhealthy psychology of weight loss and dieting, let's talk about your relationship with food. Many people look at items as "good" or "bad." When you think of them that way, you start having a poor relationship with food and think you shouldn't eat something because it's "bad."
As we know, things we consider "bad" tend to be the yummy things we enjoy. You don't have to eliminate them altogether. Instead, minimize how often you enjoy them. When you start resenting food, it's going to put you in a bad place mentally, and you'll always be looking for reasons not to eat something.
Stress is the worst and can cause you to eat uncontrollably due to a spike in cortisol levels, which then increases the release of ghrelin (a hunger hormone). When trying to lose weight, stressing over your weight loss and diet will only slow your progress and results.
Find a way to release that stress and channel it in another direction (such as through your workouts). Stress and the psychology of weight loss can play tricks on you, and in the end, it will not be in your favor.
Sometimes the psychology of weight loss and dieting can cause people to feel depressed. Either they are on low calories and constantly feel hungry, or they are stressing over their lack of results, it can send them into a downward spiral.
Don't allow yourself to go down that path. Weight loss and dieting aren't worth getting depressed over. Try to enjoy the process, learn from it, and constantly try new things to keep your journey fresh and exciting.
4. Negative Body Image
I'd like to say that everyone who jumps on a diet or is trying to lose weight will 100% of the time succeed, but that would be a myth. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, when people look in the mirror, the psychology of weight loss may smack them in the face if they don't like what they see and start to mentally unravel them.
A negative body image starts with what other people think and say about you and how you look. Pay no attention to what they say. Focus on you, your journey, and the task at hand. You need to be able to look in the mirror and know that even if you know you have some weight to lose, you're on the right path to achieving your goal, and you will hit it.
Overcome Mental Obstacles to Achieve Weight Loss Success
How you deal with your own psychology of weight loss and dieting will determine your overall success or failure. If you can maintain a level head, stay on the right path, track your progress, and adjust where needed, you can put yourself in the best position possible.
To further help you identify what was said above about the negative psychology of weight loss and dieting and how to overcome such obstacles, there are a few strategies that you may implement below.
1. Focus on Small Changes
If you are like many others, you probably jumped into a weight loss plan with both feet. There was no dipping your toes in — you went to the deep end and dove right in. This is a mistake. This is part of the psychology of weight loss. You need to focus on making small changes.
Rather than eliminating everything from your diet, make small nutritional changes and habits. Start by eliminating soda. Then work on eliminating candy and eating ice cream as often. The key is small changes that lead up to a massive shift in your overall daily caloric intake. This entire process needs to become a new lifestyle, not a quick fad that comes and goes, and it quit because it's unrealistic.
2. Track Your Progress
Things that can be measured and tracked get worked on. You don't know what you don't know, and you're doomed to fail if you aren't tracking your progress. This can be something as simple as tracking your food intake through something like MyFitnessPal. It also includes doing body measurements as well as checking your body weight and body fat on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
You'll have the upper hand on the psychology of weight loss when you start seeing results from actual numbers. People get frustrated because they look in the mirror and don't see changes. This is due to seeing yourself every day and small changes not being as apparent. Numbers don't lie — track everything.
3. Have Realistic Expectations
You need to be realistic with your expectations. You didn't gain 50 pounds overnight, and you won't lose it overnight, either. Focus on losing 1-2 pounds each week. A negative thought through the psychology of weight loss and dieting is that you expect immediate results. This leads to failure and quitting when it doesn't happen quickly.
Remember, the tortoise beat the hare because he was slow and steady. Don't burn yourself out, and keep in mind that you're in a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Create a Healthy Mindset
Mindset is everything. You need to want to lose weight for yourself and not for others. You're less likely to stick with a plan if you have no interest in fulfilling it. Don't get down on yourself if you eat something you're not supposed to or if you hit a plateau (it happens to everyone). Mindset is where the psychology of weight loss and dieting can make or break your results.
Stay positive, continue to bet on yourself, and keep a winning mentality.
5. Make Time to Relax
An area that not many focus on is their stress level. Stress can cause cortisol levels to skyrocket and cause a domino effect where the wheels fall off your progress. The psychology of weight loss can play with your head and cause unnecessary stress. Find the time to relax daily.
Each day, find anywhere from 10-15 minutes to sit in a quiet room, focus on your breathing, do yoga, meditate, or read a book. It will make a significant impact on your results and motivation when you can destress and recenter yourself.
6. Ask for Help
Don't be afraid to ask for help. The psychology of weight loss can play tricks on you and make you think you need to internalize and compartmentalize everything. Don't. Ask for help when you need it. Whether it's through a personal trainer, nutritionist, or even a therapist if you're dealing with some things in your life.Additionally, if you're putting in the work, don't be afraid to help springboard your results by leveraging something like a fat burner. Musclesport Thermal Revolution is a clinically-dosed thermogenic that can effectively boost your metabolic rate and help ignite your body's ability to burn fat. Best of all, there are no proprietary blends, which means you can feel comfortable knowing what you're putting in your body and in what dosages.