How Your Psychology Keeps You From Losing Weight

With thousands of weight loss programs available, it's obvious that losing weight is difficult. Your psychology is a big factor in gaining weight, and it makes it hard for you to reverse that trend. Here are some of the typical psychological reasons you struggle with weight loss and how you can counteract those behaviors.

Bad Habits Have Formed Over the Years

You've stopped for a triple latte and pastry on the way to work for years and you can't imagine not doing that. Habits become ingrained in you to the point where they become automatic. It's difficult to break those habits with just your willpower.

One way to change a habit is to alter some aspect of it. Take a different route to work so you don't pass by your favorite coffee shop. Another approach is to replace some aspect of the habit with something else. Instead of a pastry, choose the yogurt cup.

Some people find habits impossible to break. They will make a small change, but the regular routine sneaks back in quickly. The yogurt cup idea works for a couple of days and then your hand automatically reaches for the pastry on the third day and the cycle starts again. People find that working with weight loss clinics gives them the support they need to make changes that stay in place. Once the changes become part of new habits, you're on a healthier path long-term.

Social Pressure is Strong Motivation

Your co-workers ask you to go out after work for a couple of drinks. Or they invite you out to lunch at a big burger joint. The desire to fit in with a group of people is strong, and the fear that you might disappoint them is just as strong. You may have a real fear of rejection if you told them, "No, thanks. I'm trying to watch my weight."

The imagined outcome of turning down your friends is often more severe than the reality of it. The only true test of this is to try it out. You'll likely discover that the response is simply, "OK, maybe next time."

Comfort Food Sneaks in the Calories

You may find yourself doing well on a weight loss program when suddenly the stress ramps up at work and you find yourself on the sofa at home with a quart of ice cream. Most comfort food consumption is in response to a stressful situation. The food makes you feel good at a time when you feel pretty bad because of stress over work, relationships or finances.

The cure for this is to find healthier ways to deal with stress. Stress management programs teach ways to use exercise, meditation, bio-feedback and a number of other methods to reduce the impact of stress. Once you've master a different approach to your stress, you'll find yourself trading in the quart of ice cream for a walk in the park.

The psychology behind weight loss is as important to understand as the calories in the foods you eat. Knowing what motivates you to not lose weight, and learning how to work around those behaviors, is another part of your overall weight loss efforts.