Weight loss psychology

It's true that weight loss is physical and mental

Just not in the same way you might be thinking.

Many fitness opinion leaders - people ranging from celebrities to doctors - come out promoting certain diets, often touting them as miraculous and super-efficient. These diets come in different forms, from the protein-rich paleolithic diet to the gluten-free diet to the 21-day-fix. 

The cost of the "fad diet"

While these diets certainly work for some determined people, others denounce such restrictions and label these diets as fads which will inevitably pass through the fitness world. Fitness writer Sally Symonds wrote on her blog that diets such as these erase autonomy and and ignore our complexity as human beings. 

Weight loss science (link: NPR's Hidden Brain)

NPR's Hidden Brain podcast discusses social science research that you may have never thought of before. One episode explores the subtle ways our brains act around food. Here are some of the takeaways brought by different studies:

- Eating meals at a larger table will make each unit of food seem like more. College students who were served pizza on a larger table indeed ate less pizza. 

- Eating a large breakfast to start the day and a small dinner at the end of the day lead to more weight loss in women who were studied. 

- Being served at a restaurant by a heavier waiter/waitress will lead diners to order more food and drinks, based on a study of 500 diners. The same diners were four times as likely to order dessert. 

- Cheating on your diet (in planned, moderate doses) has the same effect as slowly releasing pressure from a valve, and actually helps a person stick to their diet by boosting morale. Those who never cheat on their diets are more likely to relapse.