Physiologically, weight loss comes from exercising and minding what you eat. However, there is a huge mental component to it as well. Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifestyle change that requires mental agility and tenacity. There are at least five critical mental challenges to your weight loss. Once you understand these mental challenges, you can move closer to a happier and healthier life.

1. You Have to Want it

The first great mental challenge to weight loss is that it must be something you want. No one can lose weight for you; keeping it off takes time and dedication. It’s much easier to put in that time and commitment if losing weight and keeping it off is personally meaningful.

2. Social Stigma

Another mental challenge comes, at least partly, from the social stigma associated with being overweight. The way that most people talk about weight gain and weight loss it can be easy for the individual to feel like carrying extra weight makes them bad people.

When people feel like others chastise them for things, they get defensive. This defensiveness can make us want to avoid doing something even if those things are good for us.

The best way for people to get over this mental challenge of weight loss is to have their reason to want to lose weight. If one has one’s reasons, it becomes easier to ignore those around them. Trusting one’s motives can make it feel like the individual is working for their own good rather than because someone else thinks they should.

3. Breaking Bad Habits

One mental challenge comes from the fact that most people who carry extra weight do so because of habits that have made it easy for them to gain weight and hard for them to lose it. 

WalesOnline has a section about weight loss tips where psychologist Darren Stanton has shared six tips to break bad habits forever. These tips include purpose setting and changing behavioral patterns, which could help you lose weight. The recommendations cover these areas:

  • Identifying triggers and their aftermath
  • Making yourself accountable
  • Interrupting some of your patterns
  • Acknowledging that slip-ups happen
  • Recognizing the small wins and
  • Setting your intention

4. Building Good Habits

A closely related mental challenge comes from building good new habits. Just like weight gain often results from unhealthy habits, developing healthy habits is vital to losing weight. 

Developing these new habits can be very difficult. It will take effort, dedication, and commitment, as well as earnestly setting your mind to do so.

An article on WebMD, compiled by Kathleen M. Zelman, recommends starting with small habits like eating regular meals throughout the day and starting your day with breakfast to avoid overeating.

5. Facts and Figures

A final mental challenge is that it can be mentally tasking if you need to get used to eating right and exercising. It’s much easier not to exercise and eat poorly than to make careful decisions about what to eat and to exercise healthily without overexerting.

The good news is that, in many cases, individuals begin weight loss plans because of their health. Even though their health problems are an issue, this puts them in close communication with healthcare experts. These healthcare experts can help them to navigate the complicated worlds of diet and safe exercise.

Further, information has never been more prevalent and readily available. While it is good that this information is so readily available, sorting through it and absorbing it are still challenging tasks.

There are some significant physical challenges to lasting weight loss. However, there are also some critical mental challenges to weight loss. Understanding these challenges can help people struggling with their weight to understand what they can do to achieve weight loss. It can also help those who have a loved one trying to lose weight to know that this is a more difficult challenge than many realize.

It can be far too easy for people of a healthy weight to take their health for granted. This taints their understanding but also makes things harder for individuals trying to lose weight and putting up with social stigma and a lack of knowledge.


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Jeff Moji

Hi there. I'm Jeff Moji, an engineer, information technologist, and health enthusiast. I have set up this website to explore the best ways to keep fit and healthy as I grow older during this pandemic-prone time. Please keep in touch so we can exchange information and spur one another on.

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