Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Emotional Barriers to Weight Loss


United States is heading towards an obesity epidemic and it is a secret hidden from no one. If US National Center for Health Statistics is to be believed, one in every three Americans is obese. This is a really startling figure especially because obesity in itself may not be very dangerous but the gamut of chronic diseases it leads to such as, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and cancer etc, make it really threatening. Exercising, eating healthy and staying emotionally fit are the best ways to lose weight and limit the problems arising due to obesity.  


If it is important to hit the gym in order to lose weight, it is equally important to be emotional well balanced to lose weight because it’s said “weight loss and emotions go hand in hand”. 

If you have tried all the possible ways to shed the extra pounds but have not been able to see any significant results, then you must give your state of mind a thought too. If you know that there is no medical or environmental problem, which is restricting you from losing weight, then you surely need to take some time out to figure the emotional barriers which might be taking a toll on your eating habits and thus your weight. Overcoming the emotional barriers is one of the keys to your weight loss success, let’s therefore read below for emotions which act as barriers to weight loss.

Failing to reach set weight loss goals
When you get to the gym or go on a supplement diet to lose weight, you set yourself a goal - a goal that you want to attain, a goal to reach a particular weight within a set time limit. Researchers have found that people who tend to reach their weight loss goals tend to keep of their weight in comparison with people who fail to reach the weight loss goal despite rigorous efforts. Meeting weight loss goals instills a feeling of improved self confidence and good health, while it acts entirely opposite on people who fail to meet their goal. Thus, people who fail to meet their goal tend to regain weight rapidly due to lack of self confidence and health. Therefore, it is important to understand that the emotion of satisfaction plays an important role in weight loss maintenance in obese people.
Stress 
Stress isn’t good for your health in any way, and it isn’t at all helpful in obesity too. Some people feel good while eating - for them, overeating in stress helps them clam their emotions. Though, emotional eating doesn’t necessarily result in weight gain in many people but it can cause problem of obesity in some. Studies have shown that obese women have a very stressful experience, which restricts them from practicing healthier eating and exercising habits that leads them to obesity.
Avoiding stress may not be a proposition in our lives today, but relaxation techniques can work as great technique to managing emotions in stress. It has been clinically proven that specific relaxation techniques can help women lose weight successfully. In case obese people can see a therapist, there is nothing like it, but if you cannot work with a therapist, you can possible learn the relaxation techniques and guided imagery to curb emotions instigating you to overeat during stress, to ultimately help yourself lose weight. 

Depression
Depression is another perpetrator of weight gain. Though, the relationship between depression and weight loss may not be too exact, but depression is an emotional barrier to weight loss. Studies have at numerous occasions linked depression with obesity. It may not be a direct relation, but it is believed that some antidepressants can cause weight gain. Another factor is that depression cause lack of sleep and inactivity, which can be risk factors for obesity. So, if you have tried a few things in order to lose weight to no avail, then seeking medical assistance to be screened for depression may be a sound idea. 

Trauma
Researchers have found that people who have some sort of personal trauma or childhood trauma, or have been subject to sexual or physical abuse of some kind are at a higher risk of obesity. It is believed that if an individual has experienced some sort of emotional trauma, then they could be affected with eating disorder and weight gain. If you think, there is some emotional trauma that may be restricting you from losing weight then taking time out to see a behavioral health specialist can be a good idea. The specialist can help you treat the underlying causes of emotional trauma and weight gain.

Diet restraint
Control on diet is directly related to our head, and our head is directly connected with our emotions, so more we are emotional struck the more destructive our eating habits become. Thus, on evaluating an inability to show Dietary restraint researchers found that people who were able to better show restraint on their diet were able to control their weight better and were able to keep their weight off. However, people with poor dietary restraint had some sort of negative feeling and emotions which restricted them from restricting their diet. 

It becomes really difficult to point a figure at one emotional factor which may be causing obesity and hampering the person’s ability to maintain weight. Therefore it is important to examine the barriers from person to person. However, for the factors mentioned above, there are a few that weigh really heavy on the others, these include, stress, depression and lack of dietary restraint, which are all emotionally bonded. Along with these factors, perception plays a very vital role in determining a person’s success in losing weight. So, whether it is about setting weight loss goals or attaining them, or thinking about your body shape in contrast to others, perceiving it emotionally well can help you keep weight off. 

If you are struggling to lose weight despite all your efforts, there may be one factor you may be overlooking, which may be acting as a barrier. Try and figure out the underlying cause to find out what is causing you to remain obese.