The diet industry may have us believing that weight loss is all about math, and our food industry seems happy to support this belief (with all of it’s fat, protein, carbs, sugars, salt and grams of fiber on the nutritional facts label), This is not true because weight loss isn’t simply about the math. Weight loss is highly connected to our psychology, our emotions, and our beliefs.
To create a lasting impact on unwanted weight, you have to look at the psychology of weight loss which is affected by these major human emotions.
Your ability to lose weight is directly impacted by stress. When you are stressed up, our cortisol (stress hormone) levels go up. Fat storage metabolism increases when cortisol is high on a daily basis. This happens because your body is in a survival response. The human body will not release weight when in survival mode, it’s going to slow down our metabolism so that we have extra energy stores in case they are needed.
If you wanna lose weight even when your days are stressful, you need to try to get your body out of our chronic stress response and into a relaxation response. Try to slow down, breathe and harness relaxing thoughts then you could get your body back to relaxation mode.
Pleasure is such an important key in the psychology of weight loss because it has a direct link to reducing stress. Stress reduction as we mentioned above, is crucial to creating an internal environment that supports weight loss.
To shift your body from sympathetic nervous system activation (fight or flight response) to parasympathetic nervous system activation (relaxation response), you need pleasure. When you have pleasurable thoughts or experience pleasure, you turn on our supportive biological systems. You can engage the cephalic phase digestive response, by just perceiving the aroma of a good meal. This is the very beginning of our digestive process. Our digestive enzymes and digestive tract are alerted by the cephalic phase digestive response to start digestion
Because you are in a moment of eating and tuning in to our body, you are more likely to make food choices that support our health and listen to the cues that tell us when we’ve eaten enough. This is what pleasure does for us.
Weight loss is all about changing your behavior. All weight loss tips are aimed at behavioral change because that is what actually changes the food you consume. It is a fact that behaviors are fundamental to creating healthy habits, however, underneath our behaviors are values, feelings, and beliefs.
It is impossible to actually impact our health if you don’t believe in ourselves, that’s where Psychology comes in. You are less likely to take action that supports and champions our health and well being If you don’t feel that we deserve to be happy
Even if you are given a thousand weight loss tops but your feelings and beliefs (your psychology) aren’t aligned with the desire to feel your best, you will likely not follow through with the health tips.