Overcome Emotional Stress to Lose Weight

Psychological barriers to weight loss might be the reason you can't lose weight

overcome emotional stress for weight loss
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Having trouble losing weight? If you've tried every diet and exercise plan and can't slim down, you may have psychological barriers to weight loss. It sounds complicated, but it's not. It simply means that you need to overcome emotional stress to lose weight. 

3 Emotional Barriers to Weight Loss

A psychological barrier to weight loss is simply a roadblock. It is like a brick wall that separates you from your weight loss goal.

So how to you get past the wall? The first step is to figure out why the barrier is there. There are several common causes that might be to blame.

  1. Stress. There is a good reason that comfort food got its name. For most people, eating feels good. And in times of stress, some people use food as the best way to calm their emotions. Studies have found that overeating can become a chronic coping mechanism for managing life's stressors. 

    So how do you conquer stress wall to lose weight?  Avoiding stress is not always possible. But relaxation techniques can be a healthy alternative for managing emotions during stressful times.  Scientists have found that a specific type of relaxation technique, called guided imagery, can help with weight loss. You can work with a therapist to learn guided imagery, but it's possible to learn guided imagery on your own. It takes some time to master, but guided imagery may be the most effective technique for weight loss if your emotions are causing you to eat during stressful times.
  1. Depression. Researchers are not clear if depression causes weight gain or if depression prevents weight loss. but many scientists believe that there is a link. Depression-related symptoms like sleeplessness or inactivity can make weight loss more difficult. And some commonly prescribed antidepressants can cause you to gain weight as well.

    So how do you know if depression is preventing you from reaching your weight loss goal? The first step is to get screened for depression. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a mental health professional. He or she will be able to investigate further and determine whether you have depression and give you helpful advice for moving forward.
  1. Personal or Childhood Trauma. Some researchers have found that people who were exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse or peer bullying are at higher risk for obesity.

    Some scientists believe that weight gain can be used as an emotionally protective "solution" for survivors of abuse. 

    If you have experienced emotional trauma, it could be affecting your eating habits and your weight. Your past experiences might prevent you from losing weight in the present day. To reach your goal, you may want to work through the issues with a qualified professional.

    There are many experts who are specially trained to deal with past trauma. You can find a  a behavioral health specialist who is skilled at treating the underlying emotional causes of overeating and weight gain. Your primary-care provider may be able to provide a referral. If not, there are other ways to find a therapist. The American Psychological Association provides resources to help consumers get the help they need, including a locator service to find practitioners in your area.

    If you are struggling unsuccessfully to lose weight, Any one of these psychological barriers to weight loss may be to blame. Think about why your roadblock or "wall" is in place and then take steps to get the help you need to reach and maintain a healthy weight. 


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