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To lose weight, you need to understand the psychology of why you crave the wrong things

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.

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To lose weight, you need to understand the psychology of why you crave the wrong things

To lose weight, you need to understand the psychology of why you crave the wrong things

https://qz.com/1038229/to-lose-weight-you-need-to-understand-the-psychology-of-why-you-crave-the-wrong-things/

qz.com

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Key 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. 

It may be possible to train ourselves to ignore tempting cues.

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. 

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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.

Reject the diet mentality

Dieting isn’t sustainable. Quick-fix plans cannot deliver lasting results.
T
he first principle of intuitive eating is to stop dieting—and to stop believing societ...

Honor your hunger

Eat a sufficient amount of calories and carbohydrates to keep your body “fed” and satiated. Once you learn to recognize these signals in your own body, it becomes much easier to trust your instincts and repair unhealthy relationships with food.

Make peace with food

Give yourself “unconditional permission to eat.”

People realize they don’t really want that food that was forbidden before; they just got caught up in society telling them they couldn’t have it.

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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.

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