Psychological reasons you can’t lose weight!
Whenever i talk about weight loss, besides having a good meal and fitness plan, the psychological state of mind can immensely contribute to our goals.
From personal experience, i can say that whenever i have put some kind of strict goal, with too little food or too much food deprivation i felt the scale wouldn’t move. I was stressing my body. Simple as that. Also, when you tell yourself that you can’t have something, that a certain food is forbidden, not only your body but your mind reacts as well. You are stressing yourself not only physically but mentally as well. Once you relax, give yourself the permission to indulge once in a while certain foods you won’t crave as much. Your body will crave whole foods and you will lose weight.
Weight loss journey is stressful in itself but certain psychological underlying issues, fears, beliefs can contribute and make it even harder. Here are certain psychological reasons why you can’t seem to lose weight even when you feel you are ready. If you feel some speak to you, try to work on these before embarking on another diet.
You don’t know where to start!
With all the possible diets out there it is easy to get confused. Should you be vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto? If you feel overwhelmed, start from the basics. Calculate your Basal metabolic rate (BMR) with a certain level activity and deduct 500 calories from the total number to lose 0.5 pound per week. Focus on lean protein, vegetables, fruit and try to limit anything coming from packages, processed foods. Online calculators for BMR calculation, can be found anywhere and they are the best way to go.
Your weight loss journey is not supported by others!
Do you have people saying that they don’t understand why you want to lose weight? How about those that comment on your food and exercise choice? “You will eat that, i thought you were on a diet?”, “ I haven’t noticed that you lost any weight” and so on are some of the sentences we can hear more often than not. Kindly ask the person to stop once, but i personally recommend distancing yourself from the people. Find your way of dealing with them especially during the health journey.
You have different fears about weight loss
Your fears about weight loss can be diverse. Let me break it down for you. You might fear what will happen if you achieve the weight goal. A lot of people fear they will lose their identity because they see themselves and others see them as :chubby funny guy”, “chubby girl who doesn’t’ go out, has no boyfriends”. Over time we accept that this is part of our personality, we live with this and the thought of this being changed can petrify us. My clients very often ask me that they fear people will like them less if they lose weight or that they might attract people and they don’t know how to deal with these situations. If you fear how your life would look like if you lose weight, try to understand what negative consequence might be holding you back, what is the root of your problem.
Others fear the process of losing weight. They think they will feel deprived, hungry all the time, cranky, that they won’t have enough time to workout, meal preparation and so on. If you believe that the process is overwhelming, try to find out success stories of those who went through this process. These people are motivating and you can learn a lot from them as well.
What about failure? If you have been dieting for years chances are that you have managed at one point to lose weight but you gained it back. Why would this new attempt be successful for life? You may fear that going through the process just to gain back is not worth it. It is worth it! Try to think what went wrong the last time. Were your expectation to high, did you set unrealistic fitness goals? Did you remove entire food groups?
This can go in two ways. You can either stress yourself so much with goals that are not attainable (5 kg in one month is for example very hard) and once you see that after a month you lost 2kg instead of pushing forward you call yourself a loser and throw the towel because this is “not for you”. The second scenario is when you are not losing weight but you think you have put all the effort needed. Re-visit your plan and see whether you are actually putting enough effort. If you think you can lose weight with constantly having “cheat meals”, skipping workouts it is highly likely it won’t happen. Don’t overestimate your effort. Be realistic and set yourself for success.
“We don’t want to be like them”
Social medial, comparisons are our every day life. If you want to lose weight, you will find a lot of inspiration on your news feed. What happens when we compare us to others that somehow lose weight faster? You can’t help but feel it is not fair that it’s easy for some people but not as easy for you. This leads that you are on one side and the others on the other side of the weight game. If you find yourself thinking that you actually don’t want to lose weight so you won’t looks like those “skinny girls” and that you are “giving in the trend” by losing weight, remind yourself of the REAL reasons why you want to lose weight in the first place. It is not about comparing yourself to others, it is for your own wellbeing.
“I actually don’t want to lose weight”
I see this problem usually with new mothers. Someone told them or they read somewhere that it takes 9 months to put on the baby weight and that it takes at least 9 to take it off. We put so much pressure on ourselves to lose weight with or without a newborn baby. We tell others that we want to lose weight but actually we don’t want to. We are not ready. I am here to tell you that it is OK not to be ready. Take your time, start when you know you can commit to a new way of life. The worst thing is to stress your body more than you can handle, fail in the process and feel even more miserable about it. You will know when you are ready.
“I am predestined to be fat”
If you have an underlying belief that you will forever be fat because of your genetic destiny, you are more in control that you think. Families share more than genes in common, we share habits, households and so on. If you think that you can’t lose weight because you have family members that are overweight you are not actually right. Think of wellness camps, resorts. If you would be predestined to be fat, you wouldn’t have been able to lose weight in the first place correct? So how come you lost weight in a wellness camp? You lost it because you had to eat different food and move more. Once you go back home, it is your environment that is the new influence. So yes, if your main food at home is processed foods and you stop working out, the weight will creep back. You are much more in control over your health destiny. Use your power!