I find it saddening that so many people who have been successful at losing weight end up putting their weight back on at some point.
Why does this happen?
There could be an infinite number of reasons to be found, but in truth, there is quite possibly some underlying issues lying under the body fat that may have never been resolved. This is not uncommon, and it does not make you a bad or weak individual if this is the case for you. It happens to lots of us, and it happened to me as well a couple of times in the past. We are only human my friends, even when we fail, there is always tomorrow to begin picking the pieces up again. The key is to never resolve yourself to quitting on yourself. Failing is often the way forward to success. The successful individual has usually failed and tried again far more times than a true failure in life ever has. No matter what anyone has ever told you, no matter what you might think of yourself, you are worth every bit of the time and effort to be at the healthiest you can be. Do not ever sell yourself short my friends.
Your issues with weight loss are not unique to you alone.
Losing weight is a challenge that millions of people all over the world struggle with each and every day. As you go into your journey of weight loss, you need to know that without a healthy mind set, losing weight may leave a negative impact on your mental health.
Yes, this happens more often than not!
With nearly 70% of Americans being overweight or obese, 77% of Americans are attempting to try and lose weight. Unfortunately for far too many, the success rate of weight loss is rather low. If you’re ready to fight the cravings and shed pounds, not only will you need to prepare yourself physically, but mentally as well. It is not unusual for people who are overweight to carry the burden of lower self-esteem. Add to that the social stigma or prejudice that overweight individuals encounter and a psychological cycle for weight gain can be set in motion, or unhealthy eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia) can develop. People, overweight as well as thin, often eat in response to stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. This stress-induced or emotional eating can lead to weight gain which in turn leads to lower self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, which leads to more stress-based eating and additional weight gain. It’s easy to see how one can become trapped in a dangerous downward spiral and vicious cycle. If you do not get past these issues, you are likely to regain your lost weight. You have to get your mind right.
We are creatures of habit, and most of us can find it uncomfortable to change our habits even when they are not exactly healthy. Relapse actually occurs for a majority of people when they attempt to modify their lifestyles. Lifestyle modification programs for weight loss can be especially difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Simply sticking to an exercise program is difficult for many people. Add changes in grocery shopping, cooking, meal planning and food choices, and lifestyle modification becomes a full-time job. You have to get your mind wrapped around the changes you need to make for good health.
Losing weight almost always means swimming upstream in a culture that promotes overeating and a sedentary lifestyle. Dieters are continually challenged by situations requiring self-control, and commitments that squeeze out scheduled exercise sessions. Because of these circumstances, it’s easy to understand why most people regain the weight they worked so hard to lose. Many of us might be good at losing weight, yet be terrible about learning how to actually manage our lives and the necessary changes we must make.
We can often find ourselves in situations that tend to be especially difficult for us. Parties, vacations, holidays, visitors, eating out and travel may present circumstances that disrupt our normal routine, or present irresistible temptation. When we lose weight and want to keep it off, we have to anticipate challenges and then plan effective coping strategies in order to get through them.
With weight loss, and then the management of our weight, mood is everything. If you feel bad, you are probably going to seek out comfort. Coping with stress and negative moods requires self-control, like learning to just say “no thanks” when a coworker brings a box of donuts to a meeting. Everyone has bad days and bad moods that can jeopardize behavior-change efforts. If you have a mood disorder such as depression and anxiety, chances are high you may have extra difficulty with permanent nutritional change if these changes increase your feelings of stress. If we are to be successful at sticking to our new nutritional lifestyle. then we must develop skills to cope with stress and high-risk situations. It helps immensely to learn to reduce stress with a variety of stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation or taking time out to participate in enjoyable activities with friends. You must figure out how to incorporate ways to cope with high-risk situations when they arise.
We can all get cravings and unfortunately they often arise when we are facing high-risk situations or when we find ourselves in a negative mood. These cravings can be most difficult to resist. It becomes quite easy to overeat when craved foods are consumed, we often lose all abandon when this happens. One way to avoid this is to be sure to always eat enough calories, drink plenty of fluids, get adequate rest and then stay busy enough to avoid boredom, as it is ever so easy to binge eat when we are bored.
Weight management is about far more than just cutting back on how much food you consume each day. We have to prepare ourselves for not only social situations, but also we have to learn to accept the changes with our bodies. We advise people to not lose more than one pound per week for a few reasons, but one of them is your mind needs time to adapt to the new you. When you lose weight too fast, you will still picture yourself as a fat person. Even when you see a reflection of your thinner self, your mind still thinks you are fat. Not only is a slower weight loss healthier for you from a mental and physical standpoint, you might find yourself still unhappy with your appearance when you are left with an abundance of unsightly loose skin around your body. It is not uncommon that people will still not be satisfied with their lives once they have reached their goal weight. When this happens, they will often resort to old habits of thinking that by eating a big meal, it will make them feel better. When this occurs, it becomes easier and easier to indulge later on. Thus, the cycle of gaining weight begins anew. This is the same type of behavior of people who resume drinking or drug use after a period of abstinence. Once they break their rule about not using the substance, they feel self-blame and a loss of control, and subsequently fall into a relapse. Dieting can be the same way for some people. Once they “break” their diet, they continue to overeat and abandon their weight-loss programs entirely.
The best way to overcome these obstacles is to cultivate a helpful and supportive social network. Friends and family can either sabotage or support your efforts, but they are usually going to be the first ones to try to get you to give in and have a slice of cake at a birthday party. You have to learn to deal and cope with these circumstances as they are going to happen to you at some point because the next thing you know, one slice of pizza turns into six, one scoop of ice cream turns into a pint, and you’re banging your head against the wall asking yourself where you went wrong. Somewhere along the line you loosen up. You can’t really pinpoint when, but you realize you haven’t been to the gym and you are also now snacking on junk foods. In short, you’ve given up, even if only temporarily. When this happens, you have to take stock of how you felt when you were overweight, and why did you lose weight in the first place.