Welcome to Debate Club! Please be aware that this is a space for respectful debate, and that your ideas will be challenged here. Please remember to critique the argument, not the author.

Is losing weight mostly psychological?

2456

Replies

  • ccsernica
    ccsernica Posts: 1,040 Member
    edited March 2017
    Seeing as weight loss often starts when something happens in someone's life to make them suddenly realize, in a way they had not before, "Oh my God, I'm fat!"... yeah. Until that happens, you won't even get started with weight loss let along accomplish it.

    The mental adjustments that come in the process of establishing good habits have to build on that.
  • omakase619
    omakase619 Posts: 226 Member
    For me it sure is.

  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    Why wouldn't my 50+ years of being overweight and obese not be due to psychological barriers? I know of some which I erected.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,411 Member
    When everything has to pass through my head to be real (to me), yes, most of weight loss (and everything else) is psychological. What else could it be?

    And I say that as a mechanist, and rationalist.
  • whiskey5jda2008
    whiskey5jda2008 Posts: 115 Member
    For me losing weight is a lifestyle change. Before I ate what I wanted to and when I wanted to. Now I have to be accountable for everything I eat and I only have so many calories to spend. I am incorporating more green stuff (rabbit food) into my diet and am working on staying away from fast food tex-mex and Whataburger.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    I'm wondering everyone's thoughts on this. I'm very big into mindset changes along with permanent habit and lifestyle changes. In my opinion, losing weight and even maintaining the lost weight is mostly psychological than anything else. I dont think people realize how much internal mindset affects the whole process and because of this, when they've reached goal weight, many will gain it back. It all comes from "within". Whether they lose the motivation, or forget the "habits" that were supposed to be built for a lifetime etc.

    I would say that much of this is about behaviour, and managing behaviour needs a number of tools. Those tools might be routine, they might be triggers, they might be objectives. So in that sense yes it's psychological because we each need to understand how we respond in order to identify the appropriate tools, and structure them.

    When I'm coaching much of what I work on is encouraging a client to articulate what they want to achieve, identify what will help them to achieve those and then work with them to track progress, manipulate the tools as required and evolve objectives as things change.

    Part of it is moving people from hoping to wanting.

    So much of the dialogue on here is articulated in hope, and people are looking for instant answers. As in the discussion yesterday with someone looking for fun ideas to break the plateau and burn through that last 100lbs. Many of us appreciate that the 100lbs may eventually come off, but the individual in question is unlikely to be happy with the outcome. So how to move to more meaningful objectives, then routes to achieve those objectives. It's not just a question of go on fitnessblender, which many spout on here.

    It's all psychological.
  • jroth261
    jroth261 Posts: 117 Member
    You may like to read Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann. There are other ones on weight loss psychology but I enjoyed this in particular. Gives research based reasoning as to why will power is a fragile concept and insight as to how to set yourself up to make good decisions and avoid temptation.
  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,343 Member
    edited March 2017
    Yes and no. I mean, like endeavoring to do anything, it takes a psychological toll when you 'fail' Given most people will have tried a few fad diets that teach you to avoid this or that and inevitably ballooned back to original weight (and in some cases more) I'm sure that the psychological affect of non-adherance for a day or two can trigger a toss of the towel. Learning the mechanics of how weight loss occurs (CICO and how many calories are actually required to TRULY gain 1lb of fat etc) is tantamount to success. If you want to look at it as a mindset change, I can get behind the psychological aspect, but as a PP mentioned it's very mechanical and scientifically driven physically speaking.
  • BrettWithPKU
    BrettWithPKU Posts: 575 Member
    "80 percent behavior, 20 percent head knowledge." Rough estimates, of course--in fact, quoted directly from a non-weight-loss context, though the basic idea applies.

    Behavior, driven by good habits, and by willpower to overcome the bad habits. Many people succumb to the bad habits when their willpower runs out, when the focus should have been on breaking those habits.

    Hmm. Maybe it's closer to 90% behavior.
  • jeepinshawn
    jeepinshawn Posts: 642 Member
    My opinion is it is 90% mental and 10% physical. Only because there is a physical need to eat, and it takes a long time and a lot of getting used to for your body to get used to not needing the calories that it once did.
  • ccsernica
    ccsernica Posts: 1,040 Member
    To paraphrase the Great Philosopher: 90% of weight loss is half mental.
  • cowgoo
    cowgoo Posts: 58 Member
    I think weight loss is totally psychological. There's no way my body needs 10 cookies, but once the sugar hits my brain... It's like I say to myself, it's totally fine, I'll do better tomorrow. After I started losing weight it became a competition with myself to see where I could cut calories. That was a mental addiction, not physical. As society, we want to feel like we're accepted by others and fit in. Eating a Big Mac doesn't do that. But if people see you with a Fitbit on eating vegetables, it feels ok to be fat because it gives the impression that, I know this isn't great looking, but I'm working on it
  • creepy_unicorn
    creepy_unicorn Posts: 14 Member
    For me yes.
    I've been on off dieting for years, but I always caved because I hadn't developed the right mindset/motivations to prevent failing. Once I focused on my attitudes towards foods and exercise, I found it much easier to keep to a healthy lifestyle. Of course I still have things to work on, but without this mindful approach I wouldn't have made as much progress as I have. My brain controls what I want, so with an untrained brain I'd make untrained food choices :dizzy:
  • AlabasterVerve
    AlabasterVerve Posts: 3,171 Member
    BDonjon wrote: »
    "80 percent behavior, 20 percent head knowledge." Rough estimates, of course--in fact, quoted directly from a non-weight-loss context, though the basic idea applies.

    Behavior, driven by good habits, and by willpower to overcome the bad habits. Many people succumb to the bad habits when their willpower runs out, when the focus should have been on breaking those habits.

    Hmm. Maybe it's closer to 90% behavior.

    This.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,399 Member
    MichSmish wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    IMO, no. It's more habitual. ANYONE can lose weight if they work on a regimen CONSISTENTLY and that's sustainable.
    People didn't get fat because of their psychology. They got fat because of habitual overeating.
    Psychology comes in when one has to make the COMMITMENT to do it. One can be FORCED to do it, but people don't like to be forced and that's why many times weight regain happens.
    But again, if it's a habitual regimen one can do for basically the rest of their life, they can sustain weight loss and maintain.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    But doesn't creating and breaking habits involve, at least in the beginning, a bit of one's mental fortitude? I agree it's mostly all about creating good habits and breaking/limiting bad ones, but a person's habits involve one's mental state too, to a degree.
    To an extent yes. And that's mostly because we're free to make decisions and most decisions we make usually are to satisfy us or make us happy.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png