Diet and Psychology

People are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Greater car ownership; more time spent in front of computers and TVs; and a decline in ‘physical’ occupations; have resulted in fewer consequential opportunities for exercise. Additionally greater access to a growing range of sugar and fat-rich snacks and convenience foods has increased the temptation to opt for something quick and convenient above nutritionally balanced home-cooked meals. These factors have combined to make it a challenge to live a healthy lifestyle these days.

Moreover we live in an age when increasing emphasis is placed upon presentation and appearance. There is pervasive pressure to aspire to the ‘right image’ or to maintain an ‘ideal weight’. For many this pressure is difficult to manage and can result in deep-seated unhappiness and psychological dis-ease.

If you feel you are empowered to make informed decisions about your lifestyle and are happy with who you are then there is probably little value in you reading on. If on the other hand you harbour negativity about your self-concept and you associate this with your weight or your size then it might be helpful to think about what are the barriers to change.

Perhaps you tried dieting once before but found it too hard to stick with. Maybe you are dispirited because your repeated attempts to maintain your preferred weight fail. Have you wondered what it is about your thinking that stops you from seeing your diet through and achieving the goals you set for yourself? Have you considered that the obstacles to your success are buried within your unconscious?

It may sound obvious but for there to be a successful outcome the will to change must outweigh the desire not to change. If you are familiar with the feelings that make you want to change but the feelings that impel you to stay in the same place are outside your awareness, this may go some way to explaining why you have been unsuccessful in realising your ambitions.

Maintaining a healthy weight is not simply about exercise and diet. Through making sense of the feelings that motivate and prevent you from implementing changes, you will have a better chance of achieving (and sustaining) your goals.

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