It is not difficult to see that losing weight is an uphill climb for almost everyone. Research has shown us without a shadow of a doubt that diet programs aren’t as effective as they promise to be. The all-or-nothing diet and sweat-till-you-drop techniques have had minimal success. That’s not to say that exercise and good nutrition are not key factors in weight loss, however. Good nutrition as well as regular exercise can benefit you in more ways than weight loss. Still, there is more involved in shedding those excess pounds than good food and exercise. According to David Bedrick of Psychology Today, there is one more feature of a weight loss program that is often overlooked.
We know that less than 10% of all dieters sustain any weight loss, about 50% eventually gain more than they lose, and that’s the most common result. Yo-yo weight loss can be worse for people’s health than simply being overweight.
Just as you have to eliminate the bad foods and poor exercise habits in order to lose weight, you also have to shed some of the culture-induced concepts of weight from your mind.
Silence Your Inner Critic
The majority of people choose to lose weight so that they can look and feel better. Psychologically, their inner critic tells them that they do not present a desirable appearance. If your inner critic is unhappy with you then chances are that it will not be happy with the new you either. Until you find out the root cause behind such crucial self-criticism, your chances of success at dieting will eventually fail. Even if you lose the weight, self-criticism will take on a new form, causing you to go back to your old habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. To silence your inner critic, start by analyzing the source of the self-criticism and work to improve on your self-image. Once your inner critic is silenced you’ll find you’ll be better committed to your weight loss efforts and will be better able to accept and adopt a new you.
Protect Your Social Identity
Our nature usually dictates that we be social. This means hanging out with our friends in a favorite watering hole of some kind. For many people, weight gain often results from these social practices but like most people, we need that association in order to remain “normal” in the world today. No one wants to be the weirdo that goes to a restaurant and orders water with lemon rather than a glass of wine. It’s sort of like refusing to watch anything but a G-rated movie. Coming to grips with your new social identity can be very difficult for many people to cope with but according to Mark Sisson of Marks Daily Apple,
Sometimes you just have to bull your way through it and bear the consequences. Like running hurdles on the track, scaling this particular psychological hurdle gets easier the more you do it.
Recognizing this as your fear is the first step in overcoming it. If you can’t be at the local watering hole without getting deep in the drink or your friends feel you are putting a damper on their fun maybe you should think about going to a new place and developing new friends. If you decide to persist in your efforts, it may take time but eventually, your rewards will outweigh the sacrifices you make and in the end others will have a deeper respect for you too.
There are numerous psychological barriers that keep people from losing those excess pounds. When you’ve tried again and again to lose weight and have found little success, it’s time to look at your personal psychological triggers to find out the third ingredient needed to help you get the results. Once you’ve identified your personal psychological triggers you can address your issues and start shedding that weight once and for all.