Why is weight loss and maintenance so incredibly difficult to achieve?
The answer to this question lies in human psychology rather than in diet and exercise protocols. Knowing what and how to eat and exercise is the easy part of weight management. It is actually 'sticking' to the behaviours that lead to weight loss that is the challenging part of the process.
Moreover everyone is different and it is essential that each person's weight loss/management journey addresses their own individual needs. Not everyone who struggles with their weight is actually overweight. While some are indeed overweight or obese, others are within the 'normal' weight range but struggle daily with controlling their eating. Some people are binge eaters, some experience addiction like feelings in relation to certain foods, some are night-time eaters, some are yoyo dieters, some are social eaters and others eat in private. Some people overeat in general and gain weight slowly while others eat a lot in a short period of time and can gain weight very quickly.
A multitude of factors affect the way we eat and consequently our weight:
• Negative emotions e.g. anger, fear, frustration, sadness, shame, grief
• Fluctuating hormone levels
• Our general happiness or lack thereof
• A general sense of emptiness
• Unhappy relationships
• Lack of life/career fulfilment
• Lack of motivation
• The need for instant gratification
• Cravings and addictions
• Poor self-esteem or lack of self-confidence
• Poor body image
• Self sabotage
Addressing the psychological issues which are unique to each individual can be the beginning of a new relationship with food, and can assist in the process of gaining a sense of control over eating habits and related behaviours.