A few years ago I started to learn more about nutrition, which helped me achieve my body goals. As a psychologist, I also began to internalize psychonutirition.
Psychonutrition is a relatively new field of study that focuses on improving the relationship that the person has with their diet in order to maintain a normal and healthy weight. It emphasizes emotional management and the habits that the person has around food.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get on social media is: “how do you maintain your weight over time?”. I believe that it’s better to avoid losing your minds in counting calories (I never did this), and focus a bit more on being aware of the role that our brain plays when it comes to nutrition.
Nutrition and Psychology
We are a set of emotions, thoughts and habits that define all areas of our life. One of those areas is, indisputably, our weight. Regardless of genetic factors and metabolism, there are psychosocial factors that push us to eat in a certain way, to maintain a series of routines and, therefore, to weigh a certain number.
This would explain why many times, despite losing weight in a healthy way, people can easily regain all their weight in a short period of time. Sometimes this might happen because they follow a lightning diet, which in the long run do not seem to work. In most cases, it is because the person has not changed emotionally, but has only modified all their eating behavior long enough to lose weight, but then he has returned to his usual life.
How does psychology help us lose weight?
- Self-care and concern for oneself, physically and emotionally.
- Adherence to physical activity and healthy eating
- Understand your relationship with food.
- Improved self-esteem and self-worth.
- Stress management and frustration tolerance.
- Managing emotions, especially when unloaded with food.
- Increase in social contact and its quality.
7 Tips to lose weight from the mind
Identify the impulse that has led us to improve our nutrition
We have to identify what has led us to want to improve our diet, for example: “I want to have a better body for the Summer”, “I want to have a better running performance”. Let’s write what we want to achieve in a place where we can see it every day, for example: “I want to improve my body”, or “I want to improve my diet”. You can put it as your phone background. By doing this, we are going to read it every day, helping us to achieve the goal.
The usefulness of food is to feed itself and not give pleasure
The relationship we have with food is very important. When a child is small, mothers usually comfort them by giving them sweets or something to eat. This is recorded in the mind of the child, who learns to overcome negative emotional states with food.
Food has a fundamental utility which is that of food. It should not be used to overcome negative emotional states.
Having a positive attitude will help you lose weight
Having a positive attitude, having encouraging and motivating thoughts will lead us to achieve the objectives. Many times when we initiate a change in our life, we want to see immediate results and not achieving them generates frustration and even many times it leads us to quit the goal we have set for ourselves.
Restrictive diets are not recommended
I have said this in almost all my articles, and I think it is something to emphasize: Restrictive diets are not good because the person who does it will increase the desire for prohibited foods which, in the long run, can be counterproductive.
How do I know if I am hungry or anxious?
Many times we eat because we feel bored, because we have nothing to do, because we may find ourselves facing a situation that causes us sadness or perhaps we are going through a period of great stress. The ideal thing is to identify why I am eating, if it is because I am really hungry or it is because I am anxious.
Recognize which are the situations that we associate with food
Sometimes, without realizing it, we tend to associate certain situations with food. For example: Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
Do physical activity
A low-impact physical activity will help us relieve stress. When walking or doing other physical activity our brain releases Endorphins, that way we will feel more energetic, motivated and relaxed.