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Weight Loss Psychology, How to control the behavior of weight management




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Weight Loss Psychology: How to Control the Behavior of Weight Management


Lina Psouni








Copyright © Lina Psouni 2013

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent publisher.

First published in Greece 2013

Designed by Psouni Afroditi



1.Psychology of Obesity 7

Body Mass Index 9

What leads us to obesity? 10

Psychological reasons that drive us to obesity 11

The Vicious Cycle of Obesity 14

Psychological profile of overweight people 15

Stigmatization of Overweight People 16

2. Body image 18

Body image development 20

Influences on body image 21

Media and body image 21

Children’s toys 22

Advertisements 23

2.Psychology of Diet 25


Diet for our body 25

Stress and Anxiety on a Diet 27

Self-confidence and Self-esteem 28

Self-punishment and self-destruction 28

Reactance theory 29

The mistakes in diets 30

The vicious cycle through dieting 31

To succeed in dieting 32

Self-awareness 32

Self-observation 33

Table to record habits 34

4. Emotions 36


Physiology of emotions 36

Neurotransmitters 37

Foods that affect our mood 37

Control of emotions 38

Strategies to control our emotions 39

Function of emotions 41

Emotions and food intake 42

Emotional hunger 42

Emotional control and food consumption 44

Emotional control and exercise 46

Who plays with our emotions? 47

5.Thoughts 49

The brain 50

How we can control our thoughts 51

1st Exercise: 52

To change our thoughts 53

6. Self-adjustment, Self-control 54

1st Stage: Self-observation 55

[_ Examples (of the behavior) of overeating: 56_]

2nd Stage: Self-assessment 57

3rd Stage: Self-control 57

7.Nutrition 60


My body and the diet 60

Body weight control 61

The body composition 61

Causes of malnutrition 62

Food pyramid 63

Nutrients 63

Exercise and diet 65

8.Exercise 66

The benefits of exercise on our health 66

Benefits of exercise on mental health 67

Research on exercise and mental health 68

Exercising for treating anxiety 69

Exercise for treating depression 69

Why don’t I exercise? 70

Metabolism 70

Calorie consumption 71

Put physical activity in my life 72

Types of exercise 72

Record my daily workout 73

9.Changing Eating and Exercise Habits 75

Suggestions to change and enhance eating behaviors 76

We try to: 76

_ We substitute unhealthy habits with healthy choices 77_

We change our thoughts: 78

We adopt healthy habits 78

10.Goals in diet 80

Rules of setting goals 81

Goals monitoring 82

Team goals 83

11.Change of the Behavior 84


Stages of change 85

Which are the changes that we should make? 87

Motivation 88

Strengthening of our behavior 88

Modify our expectations 90

We reward our efforts 92

12.Psychological techniques 93

Imagery: we imagine ourselves in the future 93

Self-talk 95

Development of self-confidence 95

Relaxation techniques 96

The commitment 97

Planning 98

Overcoming the impediments 99

Tips 100


References 102




h1={color:#000;}. [] *Psychology of Obesity*

Obesity is defined as excessive accumulation of body fat. The percentage of body fat in an overweight person is above 18% in men and 25% in women. When the percentage of body fat is higher than 30%, this person is obese.


Obese and overweight people are at an increased risk of developing health problems. Obesity has a negative impact on quality of life and leads to a combination of health problems. Some of the potential health complications are presented below:

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Diabetes—is a metabolic disease in which blood levels of sugar are increased. There is an insulin dysregulation and sugar is not controlled. It can cause many complications in the body such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, vision damages, nervous system apoptosis, coma, etc.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Hypertension—is the increase of blood pressure to higher than normal levels. That pressure pushes the blood at a higher rate than usual in the arterial walls. Hypertension can cause various diseases such as atherosclerosis and vascular injury, as well as damage to the eyes and kidneys.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Cardiovascular problems—a heart attack occurs when an artery is blocked and cannot pump blood to the heart. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to an area of the brain ceases, and no oxygen is delivered.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Sleeping disorders—sleep apnea is a condition when breath is interrupted during sleep. Snoring and poor sleep quality are symptoms of when the body does not rest enough and there is fatigue during the day.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Veins insufficiency—veins carry blood from all parts of the body to the heart. In cases of insufficiency, the veins do not function properly; there is a problem with the valves and thrombosis develops.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Osteoarthritis—is a degenerative joint disease. It results in loss of cartilage and bone destruction. Result is reduced mobility, pain and atrophy of muscles and ligaments. A major cause of osteoarthritis is obesity.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Menstrual cycle disorder—in women with a very low or very high body weight, hormonal disorders can cause changes in the menstrual cycle.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Cancer—some cancers, such as colon cancer, cancer of the esophagus and stomach cancer, can be caused by obesity.


p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Psychological disorders—such as low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, anxiety, distorted body image, etc., can arise from obesity.


WARNING: Studies have shown that someone who has a normal weight but eats junk food can possibly display more health problems than someone who is overweight but eats healthily.

[] Body Mass Index

Our body weight is usually measured in pounds, but that number does not evaluate our body composition. A simple way to assess body composition is the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a measurement that everybody can use. The formula is as follows:

BMI= Weight (Kg)/ Height (m^2^[*)*]


The values which are used most by international organizations are:


p<>{color:#000;}. Underweight


For example, a person who is 60 kilos and 1.70 meters calculates the BMI as follows: 60/1,7*1,7=20,7. According the table above, this person is at a normal level. Similarly, a person who is 110 kg and has height of 1,70m has a BMI of: 110/1,7*1,7=38,06. This person, as shown in the above table, is obese.

BMI is an easy measurement to calculate, but sometimes it can classify people in a different category. For instance, somebody who has developed their muscle mass will be heavier. That is because the muscles are heavier than fat. Thus, the BMI of this person could be shown as overweight, but the fat in their body is normal. For a correct calculation of the body mass, we should use fat measurement.

[] What leads us to obesity?

Inheritance is a very important factor which is responsible for the extra kilos for some people. Heredity may be associated with various diseases or hormonal disorders, such as thyroid problems. New studies suggest that there are genes which are associated with obesity.


Another factor associated with obesity is not only the environment in which we have grown, but also the environment in which we live. An important role in maintaining a proper weight is having eating habits we have adopted from our family. The sedentary way of life and lack of exercise, unfortunately, exacerbate the problem of obesity.


The media and advertisements also contribute to increased food consumption as well as the type of food which we choose. It has been observed that people who watch TV consume more sweets and chocolates than those who do not watch as much television. Certainly, the daily exposure to temptations influences the choices of our food.


[] Psychological reasons that drive us to obesity

Psychological reasons that drive us to obesity are many and different for everyone, according to our experiences, our character and personality. Many of these factors coexist. Below are listed the most important:

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Emotional relief—the feeling of satisfaction caused by food intake reduces intense emotions and covers the emotional gaps. We are often led to overeat by seeking for coverage or replacement of emotions. The result is the recruitment of more calories that we need.

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Regression—feelings of security that causes overeating in childhood and in infant years. During infancy, we equate eating with feelings of safety and satisfaction. In adulthood, when one doesn’t feel safe or secure, we are led to consume more food to gain those feelings which are combined with food.

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Self-punishment—is repeat behavior seen in overweight people. Usually the way of self-punishment is to overeat until food causes pain in the stomach. At the same time, the pain is also psychological because it is accompanied by feelings of failure. The result in this case is a high calorie intake.

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Connecting eating behaviors—these are some specific situations or other behavioral activities, such as when we are watching TV or when we are with friends, when we are working at the PC, etc.

p(((((<>{color:#000;}. Negative thoughts—reduce self-confidence, expectations and self-efficacy. Negative thoughts usually make the beginning of an effort difficult. Negative thoughts are common in overweight people and usually involve a feeling of failure, not only for body weight, but also in other parts of their life.


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Weight Loss Psychology, How to control the behavior of weight management

Psychological support for weight control is very important aiming a successful result. Before any change we’d like to try in our lives, we need a positive psychological approach. Good mood leads to success, more organized, systematic, controlled and without interrupted effort. In addition, good mood is associated with self-awareness, feelings, self, and attitudes control. The control of behavior for weight loss consists the activation of elements and incentives, support for the mood change, understanding of feelings, change of the way of thinking, the development of self-control and self-confidence. This book converts the effort of losing weight consists of some information about exercising and dieting so that whoever reads it can move on to an integrated weight loss program.

  • ISBN: 9781370546787
  • Author: lina psouni
  • Published: 2017-07-23 00:20:10
  • Words: 16511
Weight Loss Psychology, How to control the behavior of weight management Weight Loss Psychology, How to control the behavior of weight management