It's June, and although the official start to summer might be June 22, the summer solstice, the 80 and 90 degree days in some parts of the country, and the school graduations have started us thinking about summer!
When we as women think about summer we also think about weight loss. You know it is true -- unfortunate but true! Weight loss is one of the cornerstones of my practice so I talk about it every day, because women always want help with losing weight, especially in the spring and summer.
The one thing that I have learned is that if you don’t address the emotional side of weight loss you will not lose weight.
As humans, we are emotional beings and it doesn’t matter how many facts you have about healthy eating, if you don’t recognize when your emotions are making your eating decisions you will not be successful at losing weight or keeping it off.
“Understanding and managing the behaviors and emotions related to weight management is essential to weight loss.” According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center with over 1,300 licensed psychologists.
What are emotional behaviors related to weight loss? Examples are:
• Emotions related to maintaining a regular workout
• Emotions about making healthy food choices
• Emotions related to other stressful situations in your life
• Feeling guilty about poor behavioral choices that cause you to fall off your diet regimen
• Gaining self control over behaviors related to weight loss
How in the world can you manage your emotional behaviors to create successful and sustainable weight loss? You have to have a weight loss plan that includes some strategies to manage your emotions. In my practice I have found successful strategies include a balanced whole foods diet, education on how much and how often to eat, and mind-body strategies like:
• Goal-setting before we start the program
• Record-keeping of successes and setbacks during the behavioral learning process
• Therapies to identify and address negative emotions that trigger unhealthy behaviors
• Finding solutions to setbacks and obstacles after (or before they arrive)