Author: Amanda Cofer, MPH
If you’ve worked to lose weight in the past, you know that it can be pretty simple. You reduce your calorie intake and increase your exercise so that your burn more energy than you take in. Simple math, right? But there’s a catch. There’s a part of weight loss that doesn’t always come easy. What is that part, you may ask? It’s changing your thoughts! This is a crucial component to any weight loss journey because without it, you’ll see yourself revert back to old habits and find yourself back at your pre-’diet’ shape. Let’s take a look at why this is.
The “Diet” Mindset
With so many people holding weight loss goals and the weight of so many nations increasing, “diet” mindset has become more and more prevalent. This is the part that’s easy, remember? But this mindset can actually do you more harm than good when it comes to losing weight. The word ‘dieting’ tends to be associated with so many negatives that already start the process off on the wrong foot. They can often be restrictive and are thought to be bland or use shakes and supplements. You’re probably thinking, “Diets totally work! I tried a juicing and lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks!” Sure, they work for quick and easy weight loss but they don’t change your thinking around the food you eat, making long-term weight loss success much less likely.
In fact, after dieting you’re more likely to regain the weight you lost and then some! Diets are temporary so once we go off of them, our brains think our bodies have been starving and flip on the binge part of the binge-restrict cycle. Generally, restrive fad diets don’t teach you how to manage this and or cope with the cravings. You also still view food in the same way. Certain foods are still “bad” and certain foods are still “good”, with not much falling in between. Losing these label and finding true balance while losing weight, no easy task but Noom is here to help and aid the process along towards something more sustainable.
The Lifestyle Mindset
It’s clear, when 95% of diets fail to produce lasting weight loss results, that we need a better way. Here is where the hard part comes into play. We have to change our thoughts and reshape our relationship with food, resulting in a lifestyle change. This is sometimes easier said than done. The thoughts that shape how, what, and why we eat are often deeply ingrained in our behaviors. Coming at losing weight with a lifestyle mindset can help when it comes to working on this relationship and those behaviors. Because this is a bit more complicated (and sometimes uncomfortable) than simply cutting calories or forgoing dessert, it can feel overwhelming. You have a lot of thoughts, a lot of behaviors, and a lot of strong neural connections holding your habits in place. So how do you change your thinking?
It’s important to understand the psychology of losing weight and what you are actually working to accomplish. We need to get at the why behind it all. You have probably have a pretty good idea as to what you do and eat in social situations, but do you know why? How about stress? You see your reaction to it, but do you know why that happens? These are things that are sometimes hard to uncover but once you do, you’ll see your actions in a whole new way and see the opportunities on how to change them. We don’t often think about the personal development being such an important part of losing weight, but in the end it’s what helps the changes stick.
The Bottom Line: Changing your thoughts for lasting weight loss
In the end, there is an easy way to go about losing weight but it may not be weight loss that lasts. Changing your thoughts and relationships surrounding the food you eat is more complicated, messy, and sometimes just plain tough but it’s what leads to true long-term weight loss success. The “diet” mindset tricks us into thinking this change is happening but in reality the temporary nature of it leads us to go back to our old ways. We have to take a lifestyle approach and develop personally from within to really change our habits for the better and for good. Noom’s program focuses on this and the psychology of losing weight so that you don’t have to go through these hard parts alone.