• The Psychology Behind Losing Weight

    By Linda Ritchie, PhD

    It is estimated that over 45 million Americans will go on a diet this year. Also, Americans spend over $33 billion (that’s right, billions of dollar) on weight loss products. And still, nearly two-thirds of us are overweight or obese.

    If you are carrying around excess weight, chances are that you already know what foods are bad for you. You know what you need to eat in order to lose weight and you know what you need to eat in order to be healthy and slim. Many overweight people could write a book on what is required to drop the weight.   There are dozens of “diets” that have proven to work exceptionally well when a person sticks to them. The problem is getting yourself to eat what is healthy and not eat the sweets and breads and processed/fast foods. Doing this requires a more robust solution than just willpower.

    Diets work.  Really, they do work as long as you stick to the diet – you lose weight.  Until you can’t stick to the diet and start eating the way that you did that caused you to put on the weight in the first place. A diet tells you what you should and shouldn’t eat.  Chances are you already know this.

    What you should and should not eat is not the core problem.  The core problem is how to chance your eating habits which is difficult because we have been conditioned to use food like a drug.   Food is a quick way to feel better, to ease stress, to celebrate, to unwind, to reward, etc.  Food is a way to handle emotions that are overwhelming.

    Then again, sometimes it isn’t about the emotions at all.  Sometimes it is just old fashion classical conditioning.   Watch TV, eat a snack.  Go to the movies, eat popcorn. After dinner, eat a desert.  At the beach, get an ice cream.

    If the traditional diets have failed you, maybe it is time to change your approach to weight loss.  Maybe it is time to consider updating the software in your brain to think differently about your relationship with food.  When you change your thinking and your mindset first, you can then make the necessary changes to achieve the weight loss that you so desperately want.

    What if you did not have to deprive yourself with a restrictive diet?  What if eating healthy food was what you wanted, what you craved?  What if you wanted to move your body more, not because you have to but because it felt good?

    Successful weight loss starts in your mind. Imagine being able to actually crave fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. How easy would life be if those cookies were totally unappealing? It would be so much easier to pass up the bagels and cream cheese if you genuinely didn’t want them, would it not?

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy® and hypnosis are a powerful combination of techniques that can help you achieve the lifestyle and body that you desire.  Change your mind – change your life.