Looking for information on whether a psychologist can help your weight loss efforts? Managing or losing weight can be a daunting task for anybody. The complex nature of nutrition and exercise science means that an effective weight loss program adds the stress of monitoring calorie intake, macronutrient balances, exercise and downtime into an already very busy schedule.
Psychological help can be beneficial for managing these factors.
Can a psychologist help with weight loss?
The answer to this question is both yes and no.
As Dr. Howard Rankin, an expert on behavioral change, summed up very concisely in the Huffington Post that what drives our behavior is not logic but brain biochemistry, habits and addiction, states of consciousness and what we see people around us doing, describing the importance of a tempered and reasonable understanding of what motivates human action.
The impulses that lead to weight gain are varied but include such behaviors as overeating and stress-eating, which lead to unsustainable levels of caloric intake.
These behaviors do not occur in a vacuum, however. Since multiple forms of unhealthy eating stem from underlying issues like depression and self-esteem issues, a psychological intervention can treat the issues that lead to impulsive behavior in the first place. Another way that psychological intervention can assist in weight loss is through weight loss therapy specifically. Research from the American College of Sports Medicine points out that managing a successful weight loss program creates stress in and of itself, and so seeing a psychologist skilled in stress management with a focus on the stresses of weight gain specifically can produce very positive results.
It is important, however, to remember that psychology is a very involved and diverse field that has its focus on how the human brain works, not on how a person loses weight. The practices of weight loss therapy are not unique to losing weight. Instead, they are applications of psychological principles of managing stress, recognizing stressors and creating plans of action for a person to manage their own stressors for positive outcomes.
How to decide whether psychological intervention is best
If the idea of losing weight is not one that is causing you to tear your hair out, or leave you feeling worried about the challenges that it will entail, psychological intervention might not be necessary. If a positive outlook is motivating the desire to lose weight, then psychological help should not be thought of as a potential cure-all to make the process easier.
However, Psychology Today saliently points out that people naturally resist shame and self-hatred, and also subconsciously resist and undermine diets that flow from this motivation. If your decision to lose weight is motivated by feelings of guilt, depression due to your weight, or the stresses associated with social ridicule due to your weight then seeking psychological help may prove to be an excellent course of action. Skilled psychologists will help you manage your stress and uncertainty when it comes to losing weight.
Are you struggling with weight loss?
If you are trying to lose weight and believe that you could succeed with the help of a psychologist, then we invite you to contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
Wondering if you should learn some anger management tips so that you can have better control when you start you feel angry? When your anger gets out of control, it not only negatively affects you …
For families that need it, child and family therapy is as necessary as medical help or legal advice. It is geared toward people who are going through situations or events that cause stress and conflict …
Are you looking for ways to deal with your anxiety? Almost everyone tends to have a little bit of anxiety from time to time, which is considered to be completely normal. If you are experiencing …
Mental health is an important, serious matter that is not talked about nearly enough. This is just as important as physical health and it is something that requires attention. As therapists, we understand the need …