American women of all ages are obsessed with their bodies and how they look. I doubt there is one woman alive that has not been on at least one diet in their lives and most have been on hundreds by the time they reach fifty. The women of our generation are facing the consequences of a diet obsessed lifetime by still carrying extra weight and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lose weight with each attempt.
There is a reason for this. Dieting, in the end, just makes us fatter. Our inability to lose weight has nothing to do with a lack of will power or self-discipline either. We’ve been beating ourselves up for non-existent reasons when we fail time and time again to reach our weight loss ambitions. Here is why.
When we diet, especially on very restrictive diet plans, our brain believes we are being faced with starvation. As a result, it tells our body to slow down its metabolism. Our brain is really worried that we’re in big trouble and so it releases chemicals to tell us to eat more and store up fat because danger is ahead. It doesn’t matter whether we’re actually starving or not. All our brain has to do is think we’re starving and our body reacts. In other words, if we are thinking and feeling “deprivation” our weight loss efforts will be sabotaged by our body’s response.
The restrictive, dieting mentality creates a situation called “famine brain”. The more we become anxious and worried about losing weight and dieting, the more our brain tells our body not to lose weight. Those of us who have been on many, many diets and are still overweight are people who, more than likely, actually have extraordinary willpower and self-discipline. We’ve worked so hard at losing weight that we’ve actually unknowingly caused ourselves to gain and hold on to excess weight. The good news is that you can rid yourself of “famine brain” and succeed at your weight loss efforts. You just have to do it differently than you ever imagined.
In order to break the habit of thought that creates famine brain we must eliminate all thoughts that make us feel restricted and limited. We must tell ourselves every day that we will have enough to eat and assure our fear-focused brain that there is no reason to be afraid of starvation. By stepping back mentally from the place of fear, our famine brain begins to relax and weight loss once again becomes possible.
famine brain read The Four Day Win by Martha Beck.