Weight Loss Psychology Tips For Easier Dieting

Weight Loss Psychology Tips For Easier Dieting



Introduction

Losing weight is​ 100 times easier if​ you are mentally prepared for it. This may sound elementary,​ but in​ my experience most dieters quit their weight loss plan not because they feel hungry or​ have difficulty with the​ menus,​ but because of​ psychological reasons. Either,​ they become bored,​ or​ dissatisfied with their rate of​ weight loss,​ or​ suffer a​ momentary lapse and become overwhelmed by guilt,​ or​ feel too "deprived" to​ continue. And then,​ in​ an​ attempt to​ explain their failure,​ many of​ them blame their diet-plan,​ their domestic situation,​ or​ their congenital inability to​ lose weight. This process often repeats itself,​ as​ a​ result,​ some dieters can spend years unsuccessfully trying to​ lose weight,​ without ever realizing the​ true cause of​ their difficulty. Here are three common psychological problems we​ encounter when trying to​ reduce weight,​ along with some tips for how to​ overcome them.

Problem 1. Not Knowing How Weight Loss Will Benefit You

Whether we​ want to​ lose 20 or​ 220 pounds,​ we​ need to​ change our eating habits and perhaps several other lifestyle habits as​ well. Making these changes may not be difficult on​ Day 1 or​ Week 1 of​ our weight loss diet,​ because our initial enthusiasm usually gives us sufficient motivation. But,​ typically within 2-3 weeks,​ our "new" eating pattern starts to​ interfere with our regular lifestyle and,​ unless we​ are prepared for this,​ our desire to​ continue dieting will start to​ fade. Instead of​ seeing our diet as​ a​ passport to​ a​ better weight and shape,​ we​ see it​ as​ an​ obstacle and a​ burden. it​ becomes something we​ are doing because we​ "must" rather than because we​ "want to". This is​ the​ first big emotional problem we​ encounter when dieting.

To overcome this problem,​ we​ need to​ know exactly why we​ are trying to​ lose weight. we​ need a​ clear idea of​ how it​ will benefit us. Because only if​ we​ have a​ clear benefit to​ look forward to,​ will we​ be able to​ resist the​ temptation to​ revert to​ our previous bad habits. General benefits from having a​ leaner,​ lighter shape aren't powerful enough. we​ need a​ selfish,​ specific benefit - something we​ can visualize - that commands our attention. Maybe a​ beach holiday,​ or​ a​ dream outfit to​ wear for a​ specific occasion,​ or​ a​ new shape to​ show off at​ Thanksgiving. Whatever we​ choose,​ it​ must make a​ noise inside our head! Remember,​ the​ moment we​ start to​ feel that we​ "have to" do something,​ it​ becomes the​ enemy - like paying taxes,​ or​ cleaning out the​ basement - and our motivation flies out the​ window. in​ order to​ achieve lasting weight loss,​ we​ need to​ "want it".

Problem 2. Trying to​ Be Perfect

During my 24 years or​ so as​ a​ weight loss consultant and nutritionist,​ I've met perhaps 10,​000 dieters in​ person,​ and communicated personally with another 100,​000 over the​ Internet. But so far I haven't met one single successful dieter who was perfect. On the​ contrary,​ most of​ my successful clients made tons of​ mistakes. They had bad days,​ bad weeks - even whole months - during which they went completely off the​ rails. But none of​ this stopped them from succeeding in​ the​ end. Why not? Because they learned from their mistakes. And let's not forget: most of​ our self-knowledge comes from the​ mistakes we​ make,​ not our successes.

Unfortunately,​ many dieters insist on​ trying to​ be perfect. as​ a​ result,​ when they do fall off the​ wagon (as they always do),​ they find it​ impossible to​ tolerate their "failure",​ and become overwhelmed by guilt. So even though their lapse might have been relatively trivial (a weekend binge),​ they go to​ pieces. Because,​ as​ usual,​ it's the​ guilt that does the​ real damage,​ not the​ bingeing.

The lesson is​ this. When dieting,​ don't waste time trying to​ be perfect. it​ only leads to​ increased guilt and failure. Instead,​ accept that you are going to​ make mistakes,​ and don't let them distract you when they happen. See them as​ a​ learning experience. For example,​ if​ you drink too much alcohol when dining out,​ and massively overeat as​ a​ result,​ don't wake up the​ next morning in​ a​ fit of​ depression. Instead,​ savor your experience,​ and appreciate that you have made an​ important discovery: that too much alcohol makes weight loss more difficult. By reacting like this,​ you will avoid guilt and find it​ much easier to​ return to​ your diet.

Problem 3. Treating Your Diet as​ Race

Another common problem concerns speed of​ weight reduction. Many dieters expect to​ lose weight very fast,​ and are psychologically unprepared when their body refuses to​ behave in​ this fashion. if​ a​ week passes without any weight reduction,​ they become dispirited and start to​ lose interest. Unfortunately,​ like it​ or​ not,​ the​ human body is​ designed for survival not "appearance". Therefore it​ has no interest in​ shedding body fat,​ which it​ sees as​ an​ important source of​ energy during times of​ famine. as​ a​ result,​ the​ maximum amount of​ fat we​ can lose in​ a​ week is​ about 3 pounds,​ while someone who is​ less than 30 pounds overweight may lose about 1 pound. Anything extra is​ likely to​ be a​ combination of​ water and muscle weight.

To overcome your impatience and maintain steady weight loss,​ stop thinking of​ your diet as​ a​ race. Instead,​ see it​ as​ a​ journey. This reduces anxiety and gives you more "breathing space" to​ settle into your new eating habits. I explain this in​ more detail on​ my wonderful weight loss forum,​ and most people find it​ a​ very beneficial approach. at​ the​ same time,​ avoid jumping on​ your bathroom scales every day - limit yourself to​ once a​ week. Checking your weight more often only encourages you to​ take a​ short-term view of​ things,​ which is​ not helpful.

I realize that "steady" weight loss may not sound terribly attractive,​ but in​ my experience the​ slower the​ weight loss,​ the​ longer it​ stays off. Furthermore,​ as​ stated above,​ if​ you lose more than 3 pounds a​ week it​ won't be fat - it​ will be muscle or​ water. And while losing water is​ only temporary - and thus pointless - losing muscle will slow your metabolism and increase the​ risk of​ future weight gain.

So when you start your next diet journey,​ just remember: there's no rush. Set yourself a​ realistic weight loss goal and let Nature take its course. For example,​ if​ you weigh 200 pounds and are aiming for 150 pounds,​ allow yourself 6 months to​ reach your destination. And if​ it​ takes a​ little longer,​ so what? I mean,​ what do you lose?

These three psychological problems account for a​ huge number of​ diet failures. Mastering them will definitely enhance your chances of​ losing weight. So before you embark with all your customary enthusiasm on​ yet another "new" diet,​ set aside some time to​ think through these issues and then watch the​ pounds disappear!




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