According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Obesity and being overweight have become two of the most important problems that occur in human societies worldwide.
They are health alterations with the ability to wear down people’s quality of life through a wide variety of pathologies. Hypertension, diabetes, wear and tear on the leg joints, or hypercholesterolemia, to name a few.
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 has to do with its psychological impact.
The Psychology of Losing Weight
Many times, the main reasons why people with obesity want to lose weight have not so much to do with lengthening their years of life. But with stopping feeling bad about themselves. To the point where they feel very guilty about something to which they actually have less control than it seems.
These psychological effects of obesity and being overweight are, usually, anxiety when looking in a mirror. Insecurity when interacting with others, fear of showing too much by wearing a bathing suit, or going out to party. The belief that you cannot like yourself physically to anyone, etc. In practice, these kinds of problems have as much or more persuasive power. Biomedical reasons for deciding to try to losing weight.
However, this psychological factor is usually taken into account only. When thinking about the reasons for burning fat and adopting 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.
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. Obesity is a problem of lack of willpower. Something that happens when you act improperly by giving in to impulses and not putting into practice what the law says. healthy eating theory.
As a consequence 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 that many people end up being unable to follow a diet without any other plan than to strictly comply with it. And then the rebound effect and feelings of guilt appear for ending up throwing in 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. And therefore need more than having as a reference a weekly table of foods.
So any weight loss formula that supports your full weight on the need to follow a diet plan will be hopelessly lame because it will miss two things. First of all, it will ignore that each individual’s genetic makeup means that they can only stay under a certain weight consistently and without compromising their health.
Secondly, it will be overlooked that, under the idea that it is “willpower” that should promote the transformation of the person. Hundreds of psychological variables are hidden interacting with each other in a very complex way. And what if we can learn from them, getting closer to the right weight is much easier than forcing ourselves to eat certain things every day.
In the long term, putting an emphasis on adopting new habits and routines for general behavior and stress management is much more useful than blindly relying on a diet. As if hanging a table of foods on the fridge would already lead 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 is to eat healthily. But other habits, something that introduces them to the dynamics of having a healthier life. In the same way that knowing how a bicycle works do not make us capable of using it. The price of overlooking this may be not only feeling bad about cutting off the “weight loss” diet. But also gaining even more weight than you had before starting the diet. Because of the sudden rebound effect caused by the reaction. The body when adjusting to withdrawal.
What to do?
As we have seen, achieving consistent weight loss requires a global vision of all the elements that come into play in fat accumulation. Biological predispositions, food intake, exercise, and behavior patterns modifiable from psychology. Focusing on just one of these areas will not only not add to, but will add to the problems we already had before we tried to be healthier.
With regard to psychological variables, relevant aspects such as stress management. The existence or not of bingeing due to anxiety. Problems falling asleep, expectations of success when trying to lose weight must be taken into account (modulated by the interpretation that is made of what happened in previous failures), 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 high-calorie food. But it is also essential to maintain a healthy life consistently over the years. Otherwise, you return to a lifestyle in which you do not pay attention to what you have to eat.
Therefore, when it comes to losing weight, it is advisable to have the supervision of both nutritionists and psychologists, so that biological and psychological variables are monitored and, consequently, our ability to self-control has positive effects on the results that we get into our body.