ABC's  of Weight Loss Psychology
Home   Diet Programs   Book Excerpts

Psych Factors in Your Fat/Obesity?

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.

Much of the time the causes of excess weight are unclear. Books that deal with the issue from a habit perspective tend to deny psychological aspects, while those written by therapists sometimes tend to state that "it is always psychological." There are a few circumstances, however, in which some psychological causes are reasonably clear (four of which follow):

(1)Think back to a time that you lost weight and had at least partially achieved your weight loss goal. Did you then tend to be always on the go, too talkative, nervous, smoking/ drinking more or exercising too much? If so, it is likely that your extra pounds had some significant psychological basis.

(2)If you regained more than a pound a week of weight after a diet, at least one probable cause of your pre-diet extra weight was psychological (provided addictive allergies have been eliminated as a cause).

(3)Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia seem always to have some psychological basis.

(4)If your food binges are instigated by stress, psychological causes are most probable.

Gratefulness Exercise. This will be most effective if read aloud. I am grateful for the food I eat, its taste, its texture, its variety and its temperature. I appreciate that I have food. I particularly appreciate the existence of the following foods:________(Fill your own blanks). A reminder- people who often feel appreciative or grateful are happier than most.

If your overweight problem started during your growing up years, then psychological problems were (and likely still are) important factors. If your extra pounds are at least partially caused by psychological traumas, these pounds may prove very difficult to lose. And I know of no treatment that can reliably offer a quick high rate of success. There are a few people who seem able to come to some quick psychological insights about their weight difficulties and readily translate these insights into permanent weight loss. These people are the lucky few. For most everyone else, the road to slimness is much longer and is often filled with detours and potholes. A svelte figure at the finish line is not guaranteed.

There are several books available that describe psychological scenarios that cause overeating. Such books may or may not prove useful for you.

The most common scenario is that life events raise our stress levels and those of us who try to relieve stress by overeating then overeat. Maybe we don't want to face some emotions (like anger, rage, grief or love) or maybe we try to deny our competitiveness or aspects of our sexuality. Maybe we have significant childhood trauma associated with food: being overfed, being threatened with hunger, living with a food-manipulative parent, etc. Whatever emotions, or parts of ourselves or traumas we would like to avoid will cause us stress when circumstances trigger mind associations to such avoidances. Those with psychological food problems will then tend to eat to relieve the stress. Simple, yes. The ultimate solution is also simple - not to get stressed in such situations. But this ultimate solution is much easier said than done. To change even one of our stress responses to a calm response usually takes energy, willingness and commitment to self-change.

It is often useful to consider fat as just a symptom, like a phobia, a headache or alcohol consumption. The psychological issues underlying all these symptoms are usually much the same. If you know your problems with fat are at least partially psychological, the next four chapters will be the chapters in this book likely to be most helpful to you.

Next Weight Loss Excerpt

Brainwashing Pages
  Brainwashing Weight Loss Programs
  Brainwashing Quik 1  2  3
  Brainwashing Lite 1  2  3
  3 Affirmations Pages (or 27 Manifesting pages)
  Successful Weight Loss Paths
  Finding Your "Normal-Weight-You" Image
  Following Your "Losing" Impulses
  Cave Man High Protein Food Habits
  Popular Traps (Including Diet Pills & Fad Diets)
  Anorexic Eaters Lose Weight Easily
  New Age Easy Weight Loss Ideas

Book Excerpts
  Your Weight Loss Impulses Lead to Blind Alleys
  Add-A-Carrot Diet
  Changing Food Preferences
  Unknown to You Psychology Factors in Your Fat/Obesity?
  Lady MacBeth's Dieting Was Doomed
  Food Binges Are Natural Human Phenomena
  Overweight Reduction Success Tip: Flavor Instead of Fat
  Couch Potato Benefits
  Fitness Avoided: Psychological Reasons Why We Don't Exercise
  Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week?

ABC's  of Weight Loss Psychology
Home   Quiz   Diet Programs   Book Excerpts