The importance of psychology when losing weight
Apr 11, 2023
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Obesity and overweight have become two of the most important problems that occur in human societies worldwide.
They are health alterations with the capacity to wear down the quality of life of people through a great variety of pathologies: hypertension, diabetes, wear and tear on the leg joints or hypercholesterolemia, to name a few examples.
But beyond the conditions that are expressed in specific organs and cell tissues, there are also other ways in which being overweight affects us negatively, and that have to do with its impact psychological.
- Related article: "Psychology and Nutrition: the importance of emotional eating"
The psychology of losing weight
Many times, the main reasons why people with obesity want to lose weight do not have to not so much to extend their life years, but to stop feeling bad about themselves, to the point where they they come to feel very guilty about something over which they actually have less control than it seems.
These psychological effects of obesity and being overweight are usually anguish when seeing oneself in a mirror, insecurity when interacting with others, the fear of showing too much by wearing a swimsuit or going out to a party, the belief that no one can be physically liked, etc In practice, these kinds of problems have as much or more persuasive power than biomedical reasons for deciding to try to lose weight.
However, this psychological factor is usually taken into account only when thinking about the reasons to burn fat and adopt a more defined appearance. The role that psychological variables play throughout the weight loss process is not talked about as much, although in reality they are fundamental.
- You may be interested in: "Obesity: psychological factors involved in being overweight"
The importance of the psychological when fighting overweight
The belief that losing weight is simply eating healthy foods can leave us in a worse situation than we were. The reason for this is that this strategy is based on the idea that overweight and obesity are a problem of lack of willpower, something that happens when you act improperly giving in to impulses and not putting into practice what the theory of food says fury.
As a result of this, it tends to be overlooked that the tendency to accumulate more or less fat has a good part of its causes in genetics, so many people end up being unable to follow a diet without another plan than to comply with it at strictly speaking, and then the rebound effect appears and the feelings of guilt for ending up throwing away the towel.
Due to the lack of information on the link between genetics and propensities to accumulate fat, they do not consider the possibility that their starting situation is considerably more disadvantageous than that of the models with which they want to identify themselves, and who therefore need more than having a weekly table of references as a reference. food.
So that, any formula to lose weight that supports all your weight in the need to follow a diet plan will be hopelessly lame, because it will miss two things. First of all, it will ignore that the genetic configuration of each individual means that they can only stay below a certain weight consistently and without compromising their health.
Secondly, it will be overlooked that hundreds of variables are hidden under the idea that it is "willpower" that should promote the transformation of the person. psychological interactions interacting with each other in a very complex way, and that if we can learn from them, getting closer to the right weight is much easier than forcing yourself to eat certain things day by day
Long-term, emphasize the adoption of new habits and routines for general behavior and stress management it is much more useful than blindly trusting in the diet, as if the fact of hanging a table of foods in the fridge already leads us to follow that nutrition plan for several years in a row.
In the vast majority of cases, what overweight people lack is not information about what it means to eat healthy, but other customs, something that introduces them to the dynamics of having a healthier life, in the same way that knowing how a bicycle works does not make us capable of use it. The price of ignoring this can be not only feeling bad about quitting the "loss diet" but also gaining even more weight than before starting the diet, due to the sudden rebound effect caused by the body's reaction to adjusting to the abstinence.
As we have seen, achieving consistent weight loss requires have a global vision of all the elements that come into play in the accumulation of fat: biological predispositions, food intake, exercise and modifiable behavior patterns from psychology. Focusing on just one of these areas will not add to, but will add to, problems that we already had before trying to get healthier.
With regard to psychological variables, it is necessary to take into account such relevant aspects as stress management, existence or not of binge eating due to anxiety, problems falling asleep, expectations of success when trying to lose weight (modulated by the interpretation that is made of what happened in previous failures), the fatigue from work, the level of self esteem, and many more.
This is especially important at the beginning of a weight loss program, since in this phase people experience how their focus of attention tends to focus more on everything related to food that is highly caloric. But it is also essential to maintain a healthy life consistently throughout the years, because otherwise, you return to a lifestyle in which you do not pay attention to what you touch to eat.
For all these reasons, when it comes to losing weight it is advisable to have the supervision of both nutritionists and psychologists, so that the biological and psychological disorders are being monitored and, consequently, our capacity for self-control has positive effects on the results we obtain in our body.