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Why diets don't work? (How psychotherapy can help you lose weight for good)

If you have tried but failed to lose weight, there might be psychological reasons that are preventing you from acquiring your perfect body. So before embarking on yet another diet, you might want to ask yourself a few questions. If the answers are clear – then go for it! If not, you could benefit from spending some time exploring the real reasons behind your comfort eating and consider psychological hungers, rather than fighting a real one. You can either do it by yourself or with the help of a counsellor, who specialises in weight management issues.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is: What is your goal?

What is your target weight? Quite often diets fail because of the uncertainty of a desired outcome. You can never be satisfied if you don’t know what you would like to achieve and if you are not satisfied, it is quite tempting to just give it all up! Make sure you write down your target weight, size or, if at some stage of your life you have been in good shape, have a photograph of yourself being your ideal weight displayed somewhere you can see it often.

The following exercise might help you get a clearer picture.

When you have a quiet moment, sit comfortably and relax. Now imagine yourself being your perfect weight. See it and feel it. Try to make a picture as vivid as you can. Where are you? What are you wearing? How are you feeling? Have a look around. How are people reacting to you? Has your life changed because of the way you look now? If you find it helpful, write things down.

Now remember how you felt during the exercise? Was it easy or have you struggled? Have you felt relaxed and at ease or maybe experienced a sudden anxiety or even fear? If later is true, you might need more time to explore the psychological barriers that stop you losing weight. The easier and more pleasant the visualisation will become, the more ready you will be to lose weight for good.

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Written by Anna Storey MA, BA Counselling, MBACP (Accredited)

I am a fully qualified, BACP Accredited Counsellor.
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Written by Anna Storey MA, BA Counselling, MBACP (Accredited)

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