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Managing the emotional rollercoaster of weight loss

by Freya 4 minutes read

Last updated: 04 Aug, 2022

You don’t often hear about the emotional roller coaster that comes with the process of losing weight, it is usually something that people try to manage in silence, or perhaps give up as they weren't prepared.

With a new age of fakeness on social media, the weight loss journey is even tougher with the motivation to look like something that doesn’t exist, adding extra pressure to the emotional side of the journey.

There are a range of different emotions you might feel during your journey and there are different aspects that cause these emotions, we will be looking at both, and how to manage them so that you don’t fall back into bad habits.

Warning: It can also be the case that these emotions lead to strict dieting and eventually an eating disorder, this is something that no one should have to go through - we hope this article will help you to avoid this

Weight loss is more than just a number

Often, the main target for weight loss is to reach a certain number on the scale. If you are struggling to reach this number, it can be draining and lead to a lack of motivation to continue or lead to excessive undereating to meet your goals.

It can be difficult and mentally damaging to look at the scale and not see results when you know others that are losing weight consistently, perhaps 1-2 lb a week but your journey is taking longer… according to your scales.

Or maybe you were seeing a frequent drop in the scale but have hit a plateau and are unsure why, as you are working out and eating right.

This is normal and strong evidence that the scale is not a good way of measuring your results. You should change your aspect of the journey to ‘fat’ loss rather than ‘weight’ loss and measure this through before and after images or with a tape measure, these are more valuable ways of measuring your success.

You should also remind yourself that muscle weighs more than fat, so if the scale number isn't changing but you are seeing and feeling a difference, the chances are you have lost fat and are growing muscle.

Your diet is affecting your mood

One common factor when dieting for weight loss, is mood swings.

At first, your body may find it hard to adjust to your new lifestyle, it may be shocked by the lower amount of energy you are feeding it. After time, this will become easier and your body will adjust, improving your mood in the long run.

If this is something you are experiencing further into your journey, it may be the case that you are not eating enough calories, which can cause dizziness/light-headedness and are constantly hungry and ravenous in the evening.

It is important that you are fuelling your body the correct way as this can cause a low mood, leading to you possibly giving up this new way of living and going back to your bad habits.

If you are patient and allow your body to adjust, you will eventually move through the phase of mood swings and as already mentioned, have a better mood long term.

It is also a good idea to listen to your body, if you are always hungry then it is time to up your calories as you may be stuck in a rut. Just be mindful of your cravings rather than emotional eating, this will create a better relationship with food - balance is key.

If you are able to establish a long-term routine this can also be helpful, implement stages of progress so that you continue to make advancements in your journey, i.e progressive overload.

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Don’t rush your journey

It is important to look at your fat loss journey as a long term thing rather than a quick summer body fix. If you rush the boat, you may be disappointed with the results and either try even harder and not fuel your body correctly or you may give up entirely, leading to negative emotions.

Losing weight quickly also has the potential to cause excess skin, which can be an emotional challenge for some, as you worked so hard to get the fat off but are left with something new that makes you feel self-conscious.

Losing weight slowly has longer term benefits, it will reduce the amount of excess skin and it will also make it easier for you to keep the weight off.

It is also ok to cut people out of your life if they are not on board with your journey, instead of sticking by them and falling out. Ensure you are surrounding yourself around those that will motivate you in a positive way and understand what your goals are and what you are doing to achieve them.

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