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Why Is Weight Loss So Hard and What Can We Do About It?

Why Is Weight Loss So Hard and What Can We Do About It?

Losing weight is hard. But why is it so difficult for so many of us? As a culture, we have become obsessed with appearance and image. We see images of slim celebrities and ambitious models in magazines, advertisements, and billboards everywhere we look. Their images inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. We want to be beautiful like them too 

— to be worthy of the admiration of our friends and family.

 The problem is that this pursuit has caused an over-emphasis on thinness in our society to the point where it has become almost unhealthy. 



The unrealistic standards that people have for themselves and others cause stress, anxiety, and depression in those who don’t meet them.

 This creates a vicious cycle: constantly comparing ourselves to others causes stress which leads to poor eating habits which cause weight gain which causes even more stress which leads to even worse eating habits which cause weight loss but then back-slide causing even more stress until we are once again focused on appearance again with no end in sight

 

Why Is Weight Loss So Challenging?

Losing weight is hard. But why is it so difficult for so many of us? As a culture, we have become obsessed with image and appearance. We see images of slim celebrities and ambitious models in magazines, advertisements, and billboards everywhere we look. Their images inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. We want to be beautiful like them too

 — to be worthy of the admiration of our friends and family. 


The problem is that this pursuit has caused an over-emphasis on thinness in our society to the point where it has become almost unhealthy. The unrealistic standards that people have for themselves and others cause stress, anxiety, and depression in those who don’t meet them.

 This creates a vicious cycle: constantly comparing oneself to others causes stress which leads to poor eating habits which cause weight gain which causes even more stress which leads to even worse eating habits which cause weight loss but then back-slide causing even more stress until we are once again focused on appearance again with no end in sight

 

Unhealthy Habits and Boredom

The obsession with image and appearance can also lead to unhealthy habits. Many people develop a fixation on food and exercise to the point where they begin to obsess over every bite and movement they take to lose weight. When done obsessively, this can take the form of an eating disorder.

 Other people, under stress or pressure, begin to engage in “comfort” foods that they know are not good for them. In extreme cases, this can turn into binge eating.


 While binge eating feels good in the moment, it often ends in regret once the “high” has worn off. People become frustrated and tired of this cycle and make efforts to break out of it, but end up falling back into the same old patterns again and again.

 

Lack of Sleep and Stress

Another important factor that makes weight loss so challenging is sleep deprivation. Sleep is an important part of our metabolism, helping us to burn calories and process what we ate. If we are not getting enough sleep, we are missing out on this essential process.

 People who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight. Lack of sleep can also lead to increased stress levels. Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes constant or chronic, it can have serious health consequences.


 Chronic stress can lead to many health problems, including increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and even autoimmune disease. It can also affect your weight by causing overeating and poor digestion, which can lead to weight gain.

 

Emotional Eating and Compassion Fatigue

Eating for emotional reasons is a real and common problem. For example, if you have an important exam the next day, you may feel anxious and stressed out.

 You may then turn to food for comfort and pleasure, but the food will now be “stressed out” too. 

This is a dangerous and unhealthy pattern. It is just as harmful to eat to relieve stress as it is to gain weight. People who do so often find themselves in constant cycles of emotional eating.


 Emotional eating is when someone turns to food as a source of comfort in times of emotional distress. It is a dangerous habit because people end up eating when they don’t need to and not when they do. Food should be used as a source of pleasure, not as a source of escape.

 

Addictive Behaviours and Food intolerances

A final challenge is the development of addictions and food intolerances. 

Dieting is often undertaken in response to the belief that we need to be on a “program” in order to “lose weight.” People who believe that may develop addictive behaviours in an attempt to keep themselves “under control.” This may include overeating, binge eating, skipping meals, or unhealthy diet products that are marketed as “miracles.” Although it is common to hear people talk about “breaking the cycle of dieting” or “getting off the diet merry-go-round,” most people who diet find that they are just as likely to fall off the diet merry-go-round at some point. The only way to truly break the cycle is to learn to accept and love the way you are right now. This is hard to do, but it is important.

 

Conclusion

Losing weight is hard. But why is it so difficult for so many of us? As a culture, we have become obsessed with image and appearance. We see images of slim celebrities and ambitious models in magazines, advertisements, and billboards everywhere we look. Their images inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. We want to be beautiful like them too 

— to be worthy of the admiration of our friends and family. The problem is that this pursuit has caused an over-emphasis on thinness in our society to the point where it has become almost unhealthy.

 The unrealistic standards that people have for themselves and others cause stress, anxiety, and depression in those who don’t meet them.


 This creates a vicious cycle: constantly comparing oneself to others causes stress which leads to poor eating habits which cause weight gain which causes even more stress which leads to even worse eating habits which cause weight loss but then back-slide causing even more stress until we are once again focused on appearance again with no end in sight 

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