Let’s get this straight. Losing weight and keeping it off is HARD. Bu if you listened to people spruiking the latest diet, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The truth is, there are a lot of psychological and physiological reasons that weight loss isn’t easy.
First of all, there are the reasons we have the weight on in the first place. Were we invisible and needed to be big to be noticed? Or did we need to hide behind our weight? Maybe it felt safer. Was comfort and support available irregularly and was food the one constant thing we could to turn to? Did we need to emotionally eat to soothe ourselves?
Did we grow up feeling not-good-enough and being overweight confirmed it? I could keep going for ages on this topic. The psychological reasons for gaining and maintaining weight are endless.
Then there are all the physiological things that put weight on and keep it on. Some bodies have a metabolism that was made for times when food was scarce. The ability to store fat would have kept us alive in lean times and the skinny bitches would have starved to death at a rapid rate.
Then there’s the fact that dieting actually makes us hungrier and makes our bodies work harder at keeping weight on. Depriving ourselves makes us eat more. And eating ‘diet’ (low fat, low carb, low anything) despite calorie/nutrient similarity to non-diet stuff makes us feel hungrier and changes the levels of the hungry hormones in our bodies.
Plus people on diets tend to be more depressed, more anxious, more irritable, more nervous and have lower self-esteem. That’s gotta make you want to comfort eat. Plus dieting itself raises our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and counting calories is stressful, and stress raises our cortisol levels and raised cortisol levels make us hungrier. Now we really wanna comfort eat.
Luckily all the research that tells us this stuff also gives us ways of overcoming the difficulties. And it’s not through dieting. Diets promise the ‘miracle cure’. And of course we want to believe in this latest miracle because wouldn’t that take away the pressure, the shame, the constant battle with hunger, and the cravings for all the yummy things we know are ‘bad’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be eaten.
If you want to get off the diet rollercoaster and get control of your weight, check out my latest workshop “Shrink: Eat Well. Lose Weight. Be Happy.”
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