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Why is Losing Excess Weight So Hard?

Posted Dec 23 2012 5:00am

Lots of different mind states can lead to eating too much food and eating too many fattening foods. You don’t have to be anxious or depressed or lonely or bored. You could be angry, feel hurt, be fatigued, or even feel overjoyed. You could have almost any mood or feeling or mind state. Weight gain doesn’t discriminate.

Does this mean you have no protection against weight gain? It will just happen and you won’t have any say in the matter?

This will be the case if you’ve used food over and over again to make you feel better. You’ve learned that it does just what you want it to do. It makes you feel better. Of course, you might have some regrets afterwards, but that, as they say, goes with the territory.

Eating too many calorie-rich foods and eating too much food becomes an integral part of your behavioral repertoire, and you depend on it time after time. The use of food to feel better becomes second nature, like a smoker reaching for a cigarette or a drinker downing her umpteenth drink. Patterns like this are hard to break. They hold up well against efforts to change them.

The road to recovery from a fattening pattern of eating, therefore, is usually hard and long. It is filled with the probability of lapses and relapses, and even after reaching your weight-loss goal, there is the likelihood of recurrence, weight regain that negates all your hard-earned effort.

Sounds pretty dismal; pretty hopeless. That’s true for the majority of women who try to lose weight by dieting and exercise. If eating too much food and too many fattening foods so that you are overweight is part of your psychology, then you have to use psychology to lose weight. You can’t rely on dieting and exercise alone.

If you need help using psychology to lose weight, please go to The Reading Room and the White Paper, both of which are in the left-hand column of this blog at Or, if you want to have an actual book or an e-book to read through and refer to, check out the weight-loss books for women section on the right-hand side of this blog.

If you need more specific help, email us at and we’ll point you in the right direction.


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