MAPS, FOPATS, PEWBIG, BA (Pscyh), Hons (Psych & HMS), Mpsych (Sp. & Ex.)
But what is the role of psychology in managing weight? “I really feel it is the missing piece of the puzzle for success with weight management especially when we’re talking about long term success. Good weight management psychology not only complements but informs the other elements: nutrition and movement”, according to Glenn Mackintosh, Australia’s leading weight management psychologist.
‘But I’ve tried to eat healthy and exercise daily but it seems that without doing some kind of crazy starvation diet, there is no way to get that perfect weight!’
I have heard this statement countless of times from many people who want to lose weight; they’ve tried everything from diet plans, diet pills, instant weight loss programs but they can’t seem to lose that extra body weight. There might be some psychological factors that influence weight loss?
“There are so many, and with rates of weight regain being so high, people really need to ensure most of them are in good order, so they can maintain healthy habits long-term. Let’s start with what I call the ‘Big Three’. The dieting mentality is the first. The paradox is that the more we focus on weight, the worse it becomes. The second is emotional eating. It’s really important to learn new ways to deal with uncomfortable emotions for lasting results. Thirdly, body-image issues actually make weight worse, so it’s better to learn to love the skin you’re in, and care for yourself from a more accepting space. The ‘Big Three’ work in a trio, all making each other worse, but the good news is that, as they are all related, improving one area often gives flow on benefits in the others, said Mr Mackintosh.
So, before you embark on your quest to lose weight, you may want to consider a few healthy weight loss and dieting tips from the Principal Psychologist at Weight Management Psychology (WMP).
“Well, the first one would be… don’t actually focus on weight loss! While almost every person wants to lose weight, the more we focus on it, the worse it becomes. At WMP, we help people broaden their goals by setting four important outcomes – for most people, weight is one of them, but by also setting goals for fitness, medical health, psychological wellbeing, and general life, it can help de-emphasise weight, which actually leads to better results. Secondly, enlist some support. I tell clients that weight management is a team sport! The challenge is so complex and multi-factorial, that you’ll often need the partners, the parents, the progeny, and the whole range of health professionals on your side. And don’t be afraid to add the psych into your team – a great health psychologist won’t be a weirdo peering over their spectacles while you lie on the couch, and may just be the missing piece to your puzzle! Thirdly, you can get some great psychological benefits without having to book in with the psychologist.
If people want to connect with us, we have a free online support group https://www.facebook.com/groups/WeightManagementPsychology/ with 600 members
and counting where we all share support, conversations, and a few light-hearted laughs, and we’re just about to start our Six Days of Success campaign over Facebook https://www.facebook.com/weightmanagementpsychology/, with wonderful posts Monday – Saturday to help you improve your mindset.
People who want a bit more can register for our newsletter on the website www.weightmanagementpsychology.com.au, which includes my blog “52 Thoughts for The Chronic Dieter” and our new “Thursday Therapy” – with is my new weekly video blog which should be a lot of fun!"
To read more on how to eat healthy without dieting click here>>
To read more on how to learn to accept your body, click here >>
Glenn Mackintosh is the Principal Psychologist at Weight Management Psychology. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, a fellow of the Obesity Prevention and Treatment Society, and the Queensland representative for the APS Psychology of Eating, Weight, and Body-image Interest Group. Before venturing into full time private practise, he was the psychology coordinator at the Wesley Lifeshape Clinic, and he also consults with Qld Bariatrics patients pre- and post- surgery. Glenn’s research investigated psychological and social factors and weight management, and he has lectured in weight management psychology, health psychology, and sport and exercise psychology at the University of Queensland, Griffith University, and the Australian College of Applied Psychology.