How You Feel is Making You Fat

Attractive Frustrated Hispanic Woman Tied Up With Tape Measure Against a White Background.Why are you overweight? Some of the reasons might be obvious. They know you by your first name at all the local fast-food joints. You don’t even own a pair of sneakers. You use your fryer more than your steamer. Or, my bad, you don’t have a steamer.

Bad habits equals bad results, for sure. But there’s usually something more behind your weight gain than poor eating and a lack of exercise: your emotions.

Specifically the negative thoughts and emotions that generally lead to the behaviors that lead to weight gain. The key to losing that weight?

Managing those thoughts and behaviors.

In fact, doing that is as big a factor in gaining weight as poor diet and lack of exercise, according to psychologists who participated in a Consumer Reports National Research Center. In the survey, reported by, more than 1300 licensed psychologists were asked who they helped clients handle weight loss. Their top answers were pretty much evenly divided between three options:

* Poor food choices (43 percent)

*Emotional eating (43 percent)

* Understanding and managing the emotions and behaviors that affect weight management (44 percent)

You might not think of seeing a therapist in order to lose weight. But if they can help you identify the root cause of your fattening behavior, it might be the most effective thing you can do to not only lose weight but keep it off.

The therapists surveyed also cited specific motivational techniques–such as writing down what you eat and when you exercise, and setting attainable goals–as critical for long-term success. But  for many who’ve struggled for years with their weight, the best place to start may not be the gym or at a nutritionist.

It just may be…on a couch.


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