Many people don’t understand that there’s a link between our mental health and physical health. Obesity is a growing problem in many parts of the world. While diet and a sedentary lifestyle are mostly to blame, mental health may be partly to blame as well. Weight loss therapists can help. If you’re unsure whether mental health is playing a role, read on. Let’s take a look at mental health and other issues that might be impeding your weight loss progress.
How do I know if I’m overweight?
Before discussing mental health and weight loss therapists, it’s important to know if you indeed are overweight. But how can you tell? Here’s five ways:
- Waist measurement. One of the best ways to tell if you’re obese is through a waist measurement. Simple and efficient, measuring your waist will give you a number that tells you immediately if you’re obese. It also gives you a number to reach for. Obesity is a waist circumference greater than 35 inches in women and greater than 40 inches in men. Measure right at the belly button with a flexible measuring tape.
- Snoring. Due to excess fat storage around the neck, many obese people suffer from sleep apnea. If you notice excessive snoring, this may be another sign of obesity.
- Frequent heartburn. Nearly 1/3 of obese people suffer from frequent heartburn. Additionally, even small increases in weight can cause it. If you notice belching, a bitter taste in your mouth, stomach pain or nausea, you may have acid reflux and possibly obesity.
- Pain in the joints. Another sign of a weight problem is pain or aching in the joints. This is because extra weight puts extra pressure on the joints. The more weight you have the more pressure your joints will experience. All that pressure causes pains and aches.
- Chronic fatigue. Not only does excess weight put pressure on the joints, but the organs as well. This increased pressure on organs makes an individual more fatigued. It also makes simples tasks more difficult. If you are struggling to tie your shoes or walk up flights of stairs, you may be obese.
If you are overweight, but not obese, these symptoms may not exist or be less severe. Waist measurement is the best way to determine if you’re overweight.
What about BMI?
You’ve probably heard about BMI. You’ve also probably been told this is the best way to determine if you’re at a healthy weight. Unfortunately, BMI is not accurate on everyone.
BMI works by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in meters squared. Any number at or over 30 means you’re obese. While this is a good idea in theory, it does not apply to everyone.
BMI assumes that all people have the same amount of muscle to mass ratio. It’s unable to take into account the amount of muscle one has over fat. If you used BMI in the National Football League, most of those athletes would be considered obese.
The best way to tell if you’re overweight is the waist measurement. Additionally, talking to your doctor can help you understand the degree and severity of your weight.
Why am I overweight and how can weight loss therapists help?
If you’re wondering why you’re overweight, the answer is simple, but also complex, unfortunately. People become overweight when they eat more calories than they burn, causing excess calorie storage. This excess storage comes in the form of fat. The number of calories you eat and the amount your burn is determined by the environment, but also genetics. While these factors play into obesity, there are a few reasons why you are likely overweight.
- Imbalanced diet and poor food choices. Eating foods that are high in fat, calories and sugar can lead to obesity. Also, eating foods with poor nutrient density and empty calories or carbs.
- Not exercising. Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. It is recommended that one exercise at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
- A sedentary lifestyle. If you spend lots of time sitting, you are more at risk of being overweight. Spending most of your time watching television, playing video games or at the computer is considered sedentary.
- Genetics. If you have many family members who struggle with being overweight or obese, genetics may play a role in your weight gain. Genes play a role in how much fat we store and where it is stored.
- Environment. If you grew up in a home with parents that eat high calorie foods, it’s likely that you will as well. Additionally, income and other environmental factors can play a role in weight gain.
- Negative emotions. If you are constantly sad, depressed, bored or angry, you may turn to food for comfort. Our emotions play a big role in our eating habits, oftentimes without us realizing it. If you notice yourself turning to food when you aren’t hungry, emotional eating may be a factor in your weight gain. Weight loss therapists can help with this issue.
Why am I overweight even though I exercise?
If you’re exercising most days and still gaining weight, there are a few possibilities as to why. Let’s take a look at a few.
- You’re overdoing it. Over-training is a real thing. If you are exercising too much, particularly cardiovascular exercise, you can raise your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that responds to stress. When cortisol is high, it can lead to weight gain, sleep problems and excess belly fat. Taking a few steps back may help cortisol levels return to normal and aid in weight loss.
- Hormones. Menopause and other hormonal imbalances can make weight loss more difficult. If you are at the beginning stages of menopause, or have other hormonal problems, they may cause weight gain.
- Health problems. Medical issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Thyroid issues may cause weight gain. If you think your weight gain is medically induced, speak to your primary care physician.
- Incorrect food choices. Although exercise is an important piece of weight loss, it’s not the only piece. Exercise must be paired with an appropriate diet to produce weight loss. If you think your diet is influencing your weight gain, then start eating healthier foods. Protein and vegetables with lots of fiber will help the most.
- Stress and emotional problems. Stress causes an increase in cortisol, which can lead to weight gain.
If you’re unsure what’s causing your weight gain, try a journal. Keep track of the food you eat and the exercises you do. If you don’t see any obvious issues, then talk to your doctor. A doctor can help you figure out the cause of your weight gain and implement effective solutions. Keeping track of your emotional state can also help you decide if you need to talk to weight loss therapists.
How do I know if I have an eating disorder and should talk to weight loss therapists?
Another possibility for weight gain is an eating disorder. Or, possibly, concern over weight gain may exist because of an eating disorder. Let’s take a look at a few eating disorders and their symptoms.
People with Anorexia tend to believe they are overweight, even if they are dangerously underweight. People with this disorder often restrict their food and are extremely preoccupied with thoughts of gaining weight. Some symptoms are:
- Weigh considerably less than other people their same age and height. Underweight.
- Restriction of food
- Intense fear of being overweight. Often, they make considerable behavior changes to avoid weight gain.
- Relentless pursuit of thinness
- Self esteem is heavily influenced by body weight, or perceived body weight.
- Body image distortion. Believing they are overweight and unable to acknowledge that they are underweight.
People with Bulimia tend to be a relatively normal weight, but the symptoms are very similar to binge eating.
- Recurrent sessions of uncontrollable binge eating. Eating to the point of abdominal pain.
- Recurrent episodes of purging behaviors to prevent weight gain. Vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise.
- Self-esteem is heavily influenced by body weight, or perceived body weight.
- Intense fear of gaining weight, despite being a normal weight.
Binge Eating Disorder
Similar to bulimia, but individuals with this eating disorder do not exhibit purging behaviors. People with this eating disorder are often overweight or obese. Some typical symptoms are:
- Eating large quantities of foods quickly until the person is uncomfortably full. This is typically done in secret, and the individual does not feel hungry.
- Feeling completely out of control during binge eating episodes.
- Typically feel distressed, ashamed, disgusted and guilty for binge eating episodes.
Other Eating Disorders
There are other eating disorders such as Pica, Rumination Disorder and Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. Weight loss therapists and Cognitive Behavioral Therapists can help treat most eating disorders. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, please get help. If you need immediate assistance, please contact the HELP LINE.
Why do weight loss therapists help you lose weight?
Often times we know what is good for us to eat, but can’t manage to stick to a healthy meal plan. Maybe you’ve even lost weight before, but gained it back. The problem is not you. The problem is your mind and the way you go about losing weight.
Struggling with self-image, negative emotions, past traumas and environmental difficulties can all add to weight loss struggles. To establish long term effectiveness, you have to get to the core of the problem. And that can be done with the help of weight loss therapists. The best part is, you don’t even have to leave your house to get help.
You can utilize the world of online therapy. Online therapy can help you get to the cause of your weight gain, without all the trouble. Through online therapy, you can obtain a trained, professional counselor that meets your needs on your schedule. Through worksheets, group session and therapy sessions, you can get to the source of the problem. You aren’t destined to fail diets and be overweight forever. Therapy can help, through the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy, and what does it involve?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly researched and effective way to help change thinking patterns. CBT involves teaching an individual how their thoughts affect their everyday life, and how to change those thoughts to benefit them.
Thoughts lead to behaviors. CBT focuses on changing thoughts into behaviors to shape the reality of the individual. Therapists, or in this case, weight loss therapists, will help you understand your own patterns of thinking and behavior. This teaches you what triggers you, and what you need to avoid for effective weight loss. It also teaches you how to change your behaviors on a neurological level. To actually rewire your own brain.
Final Thoughts on Utilizing Weight Loss Therapists
There are many reasons you may experience weight gain or obesity. No matter what the reason is, there are steps you can take to resolve it. Diet and exercise are at the core of all weight loss programs, but sometimes you may need some extra help. That’s where doctors and weight loss therapists come in.
If you are struggling with your weight, speak to your doctor. If you suspect your weight gain is due to psychological factors, speak to a weight loss therapist. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to do this. Online therapy is a viable and safe option to help you change your weight gaining behaviors.
Lastly, if you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please reach out. There is no need to suffer alone, because you aren’t alone.