Yourwellness – The Gateway to living well
The chances are that, in your adult life, you have, or will have one day, actively tried to lose or manage your weight. Once you have attempted this, you know just how difficult weight loss or a better wellness lifestyle can be to maintain. The nation’s current weight struggles have been attributed to a range of biological, societal and personal problems, but what’s really getting in the way of your ability to lose weight?
According to a new survey of psychologists, your emotional wellbeing plays a central role in how much weight you gain or lose, and may be the primary obstacle to weight loss. If we humans were simply rational, cognitive beings, we’d eat a biscuit, evaluate how it affects our daily calorie intake, and make adjustments to get back on track. However, as we’re not just a load of thoughts, but emotions too, we can eat a biscuit and then look down ten minutes later to discover that the whole packet has been devoured – how did that happen?
Conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Centre, over 1,300 licensed psychologists were surveyed, with many reporting that managing the behaviours and emotions related to weight management is essential to weight loss. Emotional eating was considered a weight management-barrier to 43% of people, and emotions were also reported to interfere with maintaining a regular workout routine and making healthy food choices.
To tackle emotional eating, and its grip on your life, more than 70% of the psychologists who provide weight loss treatment gave ideas for treatments and strategies to help. Firstly, cognitive therapy is a treatment that can help you identify and address the negative thoughts and emotions that lead to your unhealthy behaviour. The psychologists also recommended a strategy of problem-solving, in which you look for alternative solutions to setbacks, changes and obstacles.
Mindfulness was also highly recommended, as it teaches you to allow thoughts and emotions to come and go without judging them, and concentrate on being aware of the moment instead. However, if that doesn’t help, the psychologists also said that they considered motivational strategies, keeping behavioural records and goal-setting as important tools in helping clients to lose weight and keep it off.