Weight Loss is a Complicated Effort

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Weight Loss is a Complicated Effort

Weight loss seems as though it ought to be easy enough; eat less and move more. If losing pounds is purely a matter of fewer calories eaten and extra calories burned, why do so many people who understand the equation struggle with their weight? Clearly, it's much more complicated than just an excess or deficit of calories for many dieters.

Understanding that it isn't easy and giving oneself some slack when struggling can lead to more success in weight loss attempts.

One reason that it's so complicated lies in habits learned when young. From the time people are old enough to lift a fork, food is something that is pushed in the form of a parent trying to teach a lesson by ensuring that a child will eat until they "clean the plate".

Whether worried about a youngster’s nutrition, or attempting to teach them not to be wasteful or too picky, a latent lesson is also learned; to pay no attention to the body’s natural messages. The intention was good but the result is that people learn at an early age to either ignore or override the signals that a body sends when it is full.

Another example of our unnatural relationship with food that hinders our efforts is the tendency to use food as a reward or comfort source. When linking the expectation of food with good times, stress relief, or reward, an association is formed. Before you know it, a success, stressful day, or bout of anxiety is fueling overeating or eating unhealthily. This translates to the real world as the stress eater who reaches for ice cream after being yelled at by the boss, or the social eater who falls off the dieting wagon at a family gathering or other any other social event.

Grasping the concept of one’s personal relationship with food can make reaching dieting goals easier. Realize that weight loss is not easy and give yourself a little credit; don't quickly label yourself a failure upon encountering challenges or setbacks.

When trying to lose weight, understand that the task often involves tackling eating habits that are as old as you are. Remind yourself that the gain did not happen over night and it will not come off that way either. Keeping a focus on the long term and having more successful days than not, is a mindset that can help make dropping the pounds easier.