Losing weight and keeping it off is a constant struggle. Weight loss has become a very popular topic as it seems like almost everyone in this country is on a diet. People today are force-fed with the idea that being thin is the best thing you can be. All the media sources out there promote being thin over being healthy and certainly promote being thin over being fat. In most cases, fat equals unhealthy, unattractive, and possibly uneducated as well. Of course, this is not necessarily true – there are unhealthy and uneducated people in all colors, shapes, and sizes. This attitude toward heavy-set society is leading to more and younger people who need bulimia and anorexia treatment every year. It is a very dangerous standard to continue to uphold.
The masses of people who are engaging in weight loss efforts creates quite a few common conversations at the workplace, on the news and all across social media. Pretty much everywhere. Some of the common topics revolving weight loss include:
- talking about how they do it
- how to keep the weight off
- comparing notes about exercise habits
- what they are and are not eating
This behavior leads to eating disorders in the people participating in the weight loss and the young people who are emulating these kinds of behaviors. The discussion about weight loss could be a lot more productive if we would start by talking about getting healthy rather than talking about getting thin.
There are some things that may be holding you back from achieving health and weight loss goals that are simply facts of life.
Life and Food Choices
You may think that you are eating right, but given how much processed food we consume in the US, you may be eating the wrong things. Do not be fooled by packaging claiming health benefits. Choosing high calorie snacks and high calorie beverages is an easy mistake to make. Processed sugar is easy to hide in all kinds of foods like refined carbs such as white bread and pasta. Eating out too frequently and consuming excessive alcohol may also be holding you back. One of the fastest ways to kick start your metabolism is by eating a healthy and sensible breakfast. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for your body.
As much as we all hate to think it, when you are 40, eating like you are 17 is a bad idea. Younger people’s bodies require more calories than older people’s bodies just to function. Older people do not metabolize calories as quickly as younger people. Younger people also tend to move around more than adults do. Also, with their still growing bodies, their systems require more nutrients to survive. One of the things holding up your health and weight loss goals may be that you are still eating like you are a young person.
So much of the health and weight loss focus is put on food control that often exercise is lost in the shuffle. Getting enough different kinds of exercise that targets different areas of the body can be very difficult. That is why total body system workouts are so popular. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise as it works on all of the systems. Yoga is also one of the best because moves every part of the body and also helps with mental and emotional stability.
Depression is one of the biggest things that can influence weight gain and weight loss. Weight is so tied to how we feel about ourselves. If weight is gained, we are trained to instantly feel bad about ourselves. If weight is lost, we will receive accolades from friends and know that we are on the right track. This cycle is incredibly harmful and is a major contributing factor for people to seek bulimia or anorexia treatment. The movement toward body acceptance is one of the only ways that this cycle is going to end. Learning to separate how you feel emotionally from how much you weigh is essential to your mental health.
Other Psychological Conditions
Often, after a bad day at work or after dealing with a particularly difficult situation, we turn to food for solace. There is a reason that certain foods are called “comfort foods”. Seeking comfort in foods that are familiar can easily make anyone feel better. It takes a complete mind shift to manage negative emotions with something other than food or drink. This kind of thinking sometimes turns people to drugs or alcohol. It is these situations when trained psychological professionals are called for.