Understanding Weight Management

Why Is Losing Weight So Difficult?

During our life time we can all struggle with weight gain, whether it’s as a result of indulging ourselves on holiday or being less active due to illness or injury.  Most of us will get back to our normal weight without any problem, but for some people weight management can be a life long struggle.

If you feel like you’ve tried every diet and exercise programme going without success, and you’re still struggling to lose weight and achieve your goals, then there may be a psychological reason holding you back. Weight loss can be hard at the best of times but if you’re also dealing with emotional issues it can be even harder.

Whilst some mental health conditions such as agoraphobia, bipolar, stress and major depression can result in people gaining weight, because they often use food as a way to cope, there can also be undiagnosed emotional causes for people to gain weight, that they are not even aware of on a conscious level.


Emotional causes that can result in weight gain can include experiences such as childhood neglect, trauma or abuse as well as having suffered physical or sexual abuse. 

Bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship can also cause people to seek comfort by over eating. Emotions such as loneliness, sadness, and guilt can also be an underlying cause.

Certain physical conditions can cause people to gain weight like hypothyroidism, over production of cortisol and insulin, poly cystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing’s disease and diabetes.  Certain medications can also cause you to gain weight like steroids or the contraceptive pill.

Psychological Symptoms or risks

Weight gain can cause a variety of psychological symptoms such as:

·      Anxiety

·      Depression

·      Low self-esteem

·      Poor body Image

·      Guilt

·      Embarrassment

·      Feeling of low self-worth

Associated Physical Conditions or Risks

Being overweight or obese can cause a range of health problems including:

·      High Blood Pressure

·      Type 2 diabetes

·      Stroke

·      Coronary heart disease

·      Certain types of cancer

·      Gallbladder disease

·      Osteoarthritis

·      Cholesterol problems

·      Sleep apnea and breathing problems

·      Body pain and problems with physical functions and mobility

Professional Help

If you’re struggling to manage your weight then you should consult your doctor, so that they can rule out any previously undiagnosed physical condition, that may be causing you to gain weight.  They will then be able to prescribe you suitable treatment or medication that can help.  If existing medication is causing your weight gain there may be alternative medications available that you can try.  In extreme cases they can also recommend you for bariatric surgery.

If they believe that the reason you are unable to lose weight is because of emotional or psychological issues, they can refer you to a therapist who can provide a variety of treatments.  This can include CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which will not only help you to find the root cause of your over eating, but also how to cope with associated conditions such as anxiety and depression.  Psychotherapy, counselling and clinical hypnosis can also prove to be useful.  Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free Information click above link.

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