Simply put, weight loss and mental health have a direct correlation to one another. When considering a weight loss regimen, a person’s mental health must also be taken into account. “I think, therefore I am,” holds true when dealing with the mind and body.
Many people who overeat, often do so not because they are hungry, but because they are avoiding dealing with negative emotions. How often do we hear the term “stress eat” or “emotional overeating”? Food is often associated with comfort and can be misused, similar to any type of drug or alcohol.
A person’s emotional outlook can often determine the success or failure rate of a weight loss plan. If negative thoughts consume the mind, the ability to put forth the determination to maintain a healthy lifestyle may be thwarted. However, if a person is able to think more positively than negative, typically the outcome is expected to be positive.
Depression may keep a person “stuck” in their own “stinking thinking.” The energy needed to do anything feels too difficult to manage. It is often just easier to stay with the status quo than to take risks and move out of the comfort zone.
Anxiety can sidetrack a person from completing a task or even trying something new. Various irrational fears and thoughts may consume the mind and allow for continued stagnation.
Traumas, whether real or perceived, may allow a person to resort to maladaptive coping skills, such as overeating or overuse of any activity or substance. These maladaptive coping skills hinder an individual from moving forward in a healthy manner. You may be thinking all hope is lost, but here are some tips when dealing with your mental health and weight loss.
5 Weight Loss and Mental Health Coaching Tips
- Think Positive Thoughts: They say “Fake it Till You Make it,” so even if you do not believe you can be successful in your weight loss journey, at least begin to make changes with how you think about yourself.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People: When you don’t feel positive and you continue to either isolate and/or spend time with negative people, it’s more difficult to keep a positive mindset. Change the scenery and potentially change your social circle.
- Visualize Yourself Being Successful in Your Weight Loss Journey: Picture yourself in that little black dress or that three-piece suit you’ve been wanting to wear again. Hang up pictures of yourself at a smaller weight to inspire yourself. You can do this!
- Join a Support Group: Sometimes being in a group where other people are struggling with the same issue, such as food addiction or low self-image, can help you feel like you are not alone.
- Find a Therapist: Maybe groups aren’t your thing and you do better on your own. Find a licensed therapist who specializes in helping people with low self-image and/or food issues.
Additional Things to Consider…
Is Your Mental Health Impeding on Your Weight Loss Goals?
- When was the last time you saw your primary care physician? Sometimes underlying health issues may prevent weight loss.
- Are you currently taking any medications with side effects of weight gain?
- Have you tracked what you have been eating? Sometimes we think we are eating “healthy” but after checking our food list, we find that there were extra sugars or processed ingredients that are keeping us “stuck.”
- Have you met with a nutritionist to identify what type of foods are the best for you to be eating?
- Have you considered the portions you are taking in during each meal or snack time?
- Ladies, have you had an appointment with your OB-GYN? Sometimes we are unable to lose weight due to hormonal reasons.
- Have you considered hiring someone to meal prep for you? Maybe you are too busy to prepare the right meals.
- Are you going to the gym and not seeing the results you were hoping for? Have you considered hiring a personal trainer to assist with your weight loss needs?
- Do you just not know where to start and need some guidance and motivation? Why not consider hiring a wellness coach who can help you customize and reach your goals?
When to Consider Hiring a Wellness Coach Pre or Post Weight Loss Surgery
- Mental health needs have been resolved through some form of counseling
- Medical issues have been identified and resolved by the appropriate physicians
- You are feeling motivated to make a change with regards to your eating habits and weight
- You are open to feedback from someone who can objectively assess what is keeping you “stuck”
- You are “tired of being sick and tired”
- You have begun to identify and set weight loss goals for yourself
- You have either just decided to consider weight loss surgery or you have recently had weight loss surgery
What Can I Expect From a Wellness Coach?
- Accountability: A wellness coach will help keep you accountable to the goals that you set. Often well-meaning friends and family will attempt to “help” us with our weight loss issues, either through shaming or poking fun at our weight gain. A wellness coach can and should be an objective voice in your life, who can provide structure around the goals that you set for yourself.
- Guidance: A wellness coach will offer guidance with regards to the lifestyle changes you are trying to set.
- Motivation: A wellness coach will provide the extra motivation needed when you are not able to muster enough motivation for yourself. Weight loss surgery is a journey not meant to take alone.
- Customized Care: Our weight loss journeys are individualized. A wellness coach will create a plan specific to your needs.