Have you ever wondered why sometimes it’s so easy to stay on track with your diet and then one day, you simply lose control over your food intake? What about those moments when you can’t control your cravings and eventually give up? At first, these things don’t seem to make a difference. You overindulge from time to time, skip your workouts, and have a large meal, but your body weight remains the same.
One day you start getting bigger and bigger. Despite your efforts, you simply can’t lose weight and return to your old eating habits. What’s the psychology behind weight gain? Why changing your eating is habits so damn difficult?
The Psychological Cycle of Weight Gain
As some of you may know, I’m not only a nutritionist and fitness trainer, but a psychologist too. I don’t work as a psychologist right now because I prefer to focus on nutrition and help people gain control over their weight. However, I’ve come to understand the psychology behind weight gain. I know how it feels to lose control over your body and stop caring. I’ve been there.
In the past few years, I’ve realized that the moment you stop caring is the moment when you start feeling old and gaining weight.
You might be getting through hard times such as switching jobs, feeling lonely in a new city, losing your friends, or breaking up with your spouse. Or you simply lose your motivation. There are people who need something to keep them motivated along the way. For example, I plan a new photo shoot every time I lose my motivation.
The problem is that one day you’ll no longer feel joy in the things that used to make you happy. These little things can actually bore you to death or simply lose their meaning. For instance, I don’t care anymore about posing and fitting into new clothes. I needed something else to keep me motivated, so I’ve thought about competing. This is just an example. Let’s return to the psychology behind weight gain.
Once you lose your motivation and stop caring, you suddenly start gaining weight and looking different overall. You might not notice at first, but it will soon become a major problem. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. But it’s true for most people who end up getting overweight or obese. When you start noticing these physical changes, you decide to eat healthier or exercise more.
In the morning, you have breakfast, go to work, and then hit the gym. But when you return home, sugar cravings hit. So you go to the store or get some snacks from the fridge. This happens today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and every day from now on….and so you find yourself trapped in a vicious circle.
The loss of motivation leads to minor weight gain. You try to lose that those extra pounds and get back on track, but you fail. Meanwhile, you keep gaining weight. This makes you feel even more depressed and ruins your self-confidence. You react by eating more. Your house becomes a total mess. Over time, you stop caring about clothes, food, sleep, and even health. Food slowly becomes your drug. Nothing seems more appealing than the moment you come home, turn on the TV, and start eating your favorite meal followed by dessert and snacks. It’s a dream you never want to end.
Of course, there are moments when you wake up and realize what a mess you’ve become. This is when you tell yourself that “It’s over. Tomorrow I’ll start eating healthy again, exercise more, and take better care of myself.” But the next day is just another rerun of today.
Is It Possible to Stop Binge Eating and Regain Control?
Most times, weight gain has psychological causes. One day you just stop caring. It’s not the best attitude, but it happens to everyone. The most important thing is to wake up to reality before it’s too late. You can stop binge eating and regain control over your life, but it won’t be easy. You’ll fail, start all over, fail again, start again and so on. Every time you start all over, it will seem harder and harder to reach your goals.
You’ll cry, feel depressed, and give up. If you’re strong enough, you’ll start again the next day. If you’re weak, you’ll stop trying and eventually destroy yourself. You can blame others, complain about circumstances, and hate yourself, but this won’t lead anywhere.
The only way to change your life and break this vicious cycle is to get up off your butt, get rid of the junk in your fridge, and stay committed to your goals. It’s hard and painful, but it’s your only option.