Mental Check In

Recognizing Psychological Blocks to Weight Loss

You know what you need to do to eat right, but you likely have strong rationalization skills to support the continuation of unhealthy habits. You may not even realize you’re derailing your own efforts. Here are some common psychological blocks to weight loss and maintenance.

All-or-nothing thinking! You either stick to your diet perfectly or you fall off the wagon. The term is cognitive distortion; persistent exaggerated thoughts that are not in line with what is actually going on.

Negative body image! If your body image is too negative it can hinder the weight loss process. You may be too embarrassed to go to the gym or even a walk.

Stress! Studies have found overeating, or your go-to “comfort food”, can become a chronic coping mechanism for managing life’s stressors.

Depression! Research has suggested simply the perception of being overweight can lead to depression and if you are on medication for depression it can also cause weight gain.

Personal or childhood trauma! People who were exposed to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse and peer bullying are at a higher risk of obesity. Weight gain is an emotionally protective solution.

Mary Newman

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