Have you been on many diets that failed? Do you feel like you lack the willpower to succeed in losing weight? When you diet do you through feelings of hope, deprivation, and then despair?
If you answered yes, I have some news. You are not the problem. The truth is; dieting doesn’t work. 95% of people on diets regain the weight they lost from dieting within five years. They also usually gain a few extra pounds as a parting gift. An estimated 45 million people in America went on a diet this year. Research shows that most of these people will not achieve their goals. Why is that? The way they are trying to lose weight is unproductive.
Understanding human behavior and motivation is the missing ingredient in weight management. People are more than engines that take fuel in, store, and use it. Humans are complicated. Psychology helps us understand how people work. Apply psychology to our eating habits. We can have a better understanding of what impacts our long-term success. This includes habit formation, mindset, and motivation.
The Psychology of Depravity
The diet industry is fueled by deprivation. There are two typical methods of denial.
- People on diets identify the foods that add weight and then try to avoid those foods. (Avoid)
- They try to lower their caloric intake by eating less food. (Restrict)
Deprivation makes it harder, not easier, to achieve weight goals. One study found that thinking about going on a diet caused weight gain. Knowing that a diet was starting made people start eating in response. Yet, you can use psychology to create healthier habits.
Childhood & Food
Childhood experiences with food can have an impact on how you diet. We play out these roles in adulthood. Changing patterns such as getting ice cream any time you are upset, takes more than willpower. Each of us has a relationship with food that may impact our success with weight management. Explore beliefs about food and eating with a supportive therapist. They can help you who understand how these habits developed. They can help you to create new ones.
Willpower isn’t the answer.
Willpower is presented as a character trait that you either have or you don’t. In other words, willpower will determine if you can lose weight. On standard diets, willpower is the main ingredient. The focus is on calorie or food restriction.
A common practice is replacing the desired food with something less desirable. Like switching out regular pizza for a cauliflower crust. Willpower says: “suck it up and have a little self-control.” This doesn’t work because most diets fail. The outcome? Feelings of low self-esteem and falling back into a cycle of struggle, failure, and despair.
A Better Way Forward
The good news is that there are real opportunities for lasting change. Maximize your weight loss strategy by including mental and emotional factors. Working with a good therapist or a nutritional health coach can help reach your goals. This may be more effective than any diet. Get started today. Request your appointment. Move towards the life you want and deserve in mind, body, and spirit.
I wrote the book “I’ll Start Tomorrow.” This is a practical resource in helping you achieve your health and weight goals. Leave behind short-term weight loss with long-term negative outcomes. Moreover, develop a healthier approach for your health and well being. Learn more about jump-starting your weight loss journey to health.
Other Counseling Services
At Rebirth Counseling, we do more than just counseling for emotional eating at our Beachwood, OH counseling clinic. We offer a wide range of mental health services for individuals of all types. Our services include depression counseling, anxiety treatment, pre-marital counseling or couples therapy, help for trauma, counseling for better self-esteem & more. Online therapy is available for individuals and couples anywhere in the state of Ohio. If you are looking for support, you are in the right place!