Weight Loss Emotions: How are You Feeling About Losing Weight?
By Dietitian Lyndel Costain BSc RD
Emotions and emotional issues play a key part in how successful you are at losing weight. From desperation to positivity, they can trip you up or spur you on.
These 8 emotions can have a profound effect on your ability to reach your weight loss goal. See if you can identify how you’re feeling from the list and use the guidance to help you plan to overcome potential problems.
How are You Feeling About Losing Weight?
Hopeful... (maybe this time)?
If you're hopeful it probably means you have some doubts lurking at the back of your mind.
What are they? Bring them out and give them a good airing. Answer the what-ifs they pose with tactics you can put in place.
Put as much thought and planning as you can into what you're doing. Make sure you include foods you enjoy eating, including treats from time to time.
Think through your reasons why and revisit them often. Don't let a bad day send you completely off track, everyone has them. Bad days only mean failure if you don't put them behind you and get back on track straight away.
Desperate... (I really need to lose weight)?
Feeling desperate is probably the most negative of all the emotions when it comes to weight loss as it leads to unrealistic expectations and a sense of failure that these can’t be met.
It is possible to do an extreme crash diet and lose up to a stone in a short period of time. But this will be mostly water, it won’t shrink you belly, and the moment you stop doing it most of the illusory weight loss will disappear.
It’s also the case that the more extreme the diet and the harder you push yourself, the more likely you are to find it all too hard, give up and end up overeating.
This is a horrible situation to get into with your weight because it saps your confidence and self-esteem, leading you to believe that nothing works no matter how hard you try.
Try to take a step back from your panic and spend the time you have eating within a strict but reasonable calorie allowance that will enable you to lose real fat, and that you’ll be able to stick to until you get to the weight you want to be.
Enthusiastic... (I'm enjoying this and feeling great)?
Wow! Keep it up. If you're feeling good about what you're doing and how you're doing it, you're in a great mindset for losing weight.
Deprived... (I can't stand not eating what I want)?
Feeling deprived while you're dieting is not normally a recipe for success. The important thing is not to go for a highly restrictive diet that 'forbids' foods, and drinks, you enjoy.
It is possible to lose weight without cutting out your favourite foods completely - you just need to include them in the amounts and frequency that works with the overall number of calories you're aiming for.
If that doesn't seem to be possible, consider losing weight at a slower rate. Far better than the all or nothing thinking that leads to failure because you caved in to cravings.
Excited... (I can't wait to go shopping)?
This is a great way to feel, just beware that your excitement doesn't turn into impatience.
Excitement can be quite a transient feeling, so you may want to think through more reasons why you want to lose weight other than just the shopping trips. Try having a look at some of the benefits of losing weight wlr members have noticed.
Fearful... (what if I try and it doesn't work)?
Fear of failure stops a lot of people from doing a lot of things. After all, if you don't try you can't fail.
Try to isolate what you're really worried about, it may be related to one of the following:
- For many of us fear of what other people will think if they know we've tried and failed holds us back.
- If you want to lose a lot of weight it may seem overwhelming. Try to break it down into manageable steps, there will definitely be rewards along the way, and your confidence will grow as your weight goes down.
Positive... (I'm doing well, I'm going to look great on holiday)?
Great! Stay positive but try not to be a perfectionist.
There are always at least some minor setbacks when you're on the way to reaching a goal, make sure your positivity doesn't turn into all or nothing thinking.
For example, if it turns out that you're on track to lose 10lbs before your hol, rather than the stone you were hoping for, focus on the progress you will achieve - 10lbs is enough for clothes size down for most of us.
Doomed... (I always do ok for the first few weeks then it all starts to fall apart)?
Try to think back to the specifics of where it all went wrong on previous occasions. You may find it always relates to a particular situation or emotion, or maybe there are several different things that have tripped you up.
You can really help yourself to succeed this time by thinking through what action you could take to keep yourself on track (or quickly get back on track) when these kinds of situations occur.
Simply exploring these questions will help you identify and understand your trouble losing weight, anticipate problems and identify solutions. Here's how to use three key strategies that will help you take control.
You can keep a food diary and journal to help you identify problem areas and learn how to lose weight with a healthy lifestyle rather than a diet. Try it Free for 24 hours.