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Why Your Brain Might Be Keeping You From Losing Weight

Make history your teacher

You can learn from your mistakes. 

Instead of [beating yourself up] when you fail to keep your promises to yourself, seek to gain self-knowledge so you won't repeat the error. Be sure to acknowledge what you are doing right, not just what isn't working.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Your Brain Might Be Keeping You From Losing Weight

Why Your Brain Might Be Keeping You From Losing Weight

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/weight-loss-psychology_b_881706

huffpost.com

7

Key Ideas

Causes of obesity

The causes of obesity are complex. 

  • Obesity is not simply a function of laziness or an indication of emotional instability. 
  • In addition, genetic and biological factors do not act in isolation but are constantly interacting with an array of environmental factors. 
  • Both the availability and persuasive advertising of unhealthy food contribute to the obesity epidemic.

Changing Eating Habits is difficult

What puzzles and frustrates many trying to lose weight is why changing one's eating habits is so hard.

A key part of the problem is that we believe we have more control over our behavior than we really do. Stress, anxiety and addiction can limit the conscious control we have over our choices.

Focus on a change of heart

Losing weight through changing what and how much you eat doesn't happen because you rationally decide to lose weight. You have to have a change of heart.

To get in touch with your motivation, think about the negative consequences of not changing as well as the positive ones. Successful individuals keep their motivation in the forefront of their minds all the time.

Practice self-discipline

Self-control is a muscle that, like other muscles, needs exercise and strengthening. Each time you resist temptation, you are developing greater self-control. 

Some throw away their favorite food as a symbolic act that shows they have control over the food and not the other way round.

Reduce sugary, fat-laden foods

Such foods create physical changes at a cellular level that alter how our brains and bodies react. 

When analyzing your level of addiction, consider both physical dependence (changes at the cellular level) and psychological dependence (the habitual repetition of a behavior in an attempt to satisfy an emotional need). For example, how often do you use a sugary treat to lift your spirits?

Make history your teacher

You can learn from your mistakes. 

Instead of [beating yourself up] when you fail to keep your promises to yourself, seek to gain self-knowledge so you won't repeat the error. Be sure to acknowledge what you are doing right, not just what isn't working.

Find support

Although you alone can make the changes you need to make, you can't make the changes alone. 

One of the most potent forces for positive change is the emotional support of the individuals who surround you. Social pressure can work for you or against you. Hang out with the right people.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

People struggle to keep weight off

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Why long-term weight loss is so hard

The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding and reducing our perception of being full. 

Diets frequently fail because they have an endpoint and are not a real lifestyle change. Maintaining a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight and metabolism is often a lifelong journey. 

Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.

Revisit what you know

Energy balance is the first key to achieving one's ideal body. It's a way of saying calories in versus calories out. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its c...

Steer clear of opaque food containers

Don't eat out of food containers, boxes, and bags that aren't clear.

Our brains are highly visual. We take visual cues as to how much food we’ve eaten to help us know when we should stop. When you can't see how much food you’ve had, you never get that visual feedback and you end up eating way too much.

Ditch dieting

Dieting limits one's mind-set.

Once you're off your diet and have lost weight, you might revert back to eating poorly, not exercising and ultimately regain pounds. Instead, focus on your long-term eating habits.

6 more ideas

Food cues

When we are hungry, the hormone ghrelin stimulates the brain. Our brains pay more attention to cues for unhealthy foods—those which are high in sugar and fat—than healthy foods when we are hungry.&...

Forbidden foods are more tempting

Dieting often involves “giving up” more pleasurable foods in an attempt to reduce calorie intake. But if we are asked to avoid eating the food we enjoy, researchers have found that we will crave it.

The behavioral and cognitive response to deprivation may inadvertently be creating more temptation.

The “what-the-hell” effect

A problem with dieting rules is that only a small violation—a sneaky slice of cake, for example—is enough to derail the whole diet. Researchers call this the “what-the-hell effect”. 

Diets that require the dieter to follow rigid rules or forbid them from consuming foods they enjoy appear to be problematic, as they paradoxically increase the risk of overeating.