Weight loss can be a complex experience for many people. Being bombarded with different diets and struggling to lose weight can make us feel deflated and exhausted.
You may want to lose weight to feel healthier, improve your energy levels and prevent or manage illness. You may dislike your body shape and struggle with poor body image, and want to lose weight to feel more comfortable within yourself.
It is important to consider your reasons for wanting to lose weight and the steps you can take to ensure that you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
On this page, you can find out more about psychological and nutritional reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight, and how treatment can help you achieve your weight loss goals and lead a healthier and happier life.
Do You Struggle To Lose Weight?
Feeling fat and heavy, struggling to lose weight, a sense of deprivation when you diet, and poor self-worth are all aspects of obesity. For many people it is not so easy to just follow a calorie-restricted diet and exercise more. We have so many emotional, relational and behavioural associations to eating, which can make it feel impossible to lose weight. Our headspace, habits and emotional soothing are all connected to how and what we eat.
Do any of the terms on the graphic below resonate with you? How long have you struggled with your weight? For some, obesity and weight issues start in adult life, but for many weight has been a struggle for most of their life. We will help you unpack the associations, messages, decisions, patterns and beliefs that keep you trapped in a continuous struggle with your weight.
Below we will explore some of the factors in this graphic that may be impacting your weight loss journey, including both psychological and nutritional experiences.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Sometimes our relationship with food and eating can affect our weight loss journey and hold us back from achieving our goals.
INNER CRITICAL VOICE
When we have unsuccessfully tried many times to lose weight, we may start to internalise our failures as being a part of our personality.
Over time, we may have developed an inner critical voice, which tells us that we are useless, worthless and will never succeed in losing weight. We may think to ourselves ‘what is the point?’ and lose motivation to achieve our goals.
This inner critical voice might cause us to self-sabotage attempts to lose weight. We may find ourselves overeating on sugary foods, or eating secretly away from other people. This forms a vicious cycle of self-loathing, moving us further away from our weight loss goals.
Sometimes we turn to food to escape from challenging emotions, and this can affect our weight loss journey.
Stress, anxiety and low mood can affect our food choices. After a difficult day at work or an argument with a loved one, we may find ourselves comfort eating. We may choose to eat foods that soothe us, such as cakes, biscuits and sweets.
Emotional eating can make us feel numb or ‘happy’ in the short-term, but inevitably leads to feelings of guilt and shame, and the emotions we wanted to avoid feel more challenging and overwhelming.
Our therapy team can support you in working through your emotional triggers and help you build new ways to work through your feelings without reaching for food. Many of our clients find this an important exercise that supports long-term weight loss and maintenance.
BALANCING BLOOD SUGAR
Do you ever feel sluggish and fatigued after meals, and find yourself unable to concentrate?
When we have sugary or starchy foods, our blood sugar levels increase too quickly. We may experience a ‘crash’ afterwards where we feel tired and hungry. This happens because we release higher levels of insulin in order to lower blood sugar levels down to normal levels.
Over time, binge eating and regular imbalances in blood sugar can result in insulin resistance, causing blood sugar levels to remain high. This promotes greater weight gain, and requires a tactical approach to diet and lifestyle.
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WEIGHT LOSS TREATMENT
We believe that you can reach your weight loss goals with the right support. We offer different treatment options, depending on your needs, to help you achieve long-term weight loss and optimise your wellbeing.
PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Our experienced team of counsellors and psychotherapists can support you in redefining your relationship with food and eating.
Weight loss counselling can help you explore what may be holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals:
- Breaking old habits and updating broken thinking
- Understanding the emotions you may associate with food
- Building self-esteem and confidence
- Finding practical ways of reaching weight loss goals
Weight loss psychotherapy can support you by exploring deeper psychological themes that have defined your relationship with food:
- Exploring the origins of unhelpful thinking patterns, feelings and behaviours
- Resolving and updating food scripts and our beliefs around food and eating
- Processing experiences or events from our past that have influenced our relationship with food
- Promoting emotional resilience and regulation, and finding ways to cope with difficult situations
NUTRITIONAL TREATMENT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Sometimes it can be hard to know what the right foods are to eat for weight loss. We offer nutritional and dietary advice to guide you to achieving wellness.
Our Clinical Dietitians can work with you to create bespoke meal plans for long-term weight loss, based on your health status, food preferences and lifestyle.
Dietitian sessions include reviewing your weight loss journey and nutritional status, and designing a personalised and structured plan that can help you lose weight whilst improving the balance of nutrients in your body.
Our Nutritional Therapists can support you by looking at the body as a whole system, investigating any underlying nutritional imbalances and making nutritional recommendations to optimise your health.
Nutritional Therapists can use detailed Functional Tests to investigate imbalances, which may be holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals.
Many clients have requested working on both the psychological and nutritional factors that affect weight loss, so we created our popular Shrink weight loss programme.
Shrink integrates the different treatment approaches we have described on this page, and combines 6 psychotherapy and 4 nutritional sessions to help you redefine your relationship with food, and support you in creating a different approach to successful weight loss.
We believe that taking a holistic approach to weight loss is the best way to achieve long-term positive outcomes.
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