Counting calories, measuring portions, tracking steps—when it comes to dropping pounds, we like our efforts to feel tangible. But there’s a pretty critical side to weight loss that a lot of us ignore, and that’s the mental game. According to a new survey, only one in 10 people believe that emotional issues (which can lead to overeating) factor into weight loss.
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The national survey by Orlando Health asked 1,005 Americans what they thought the obstacles were when it comes to losing weight. After taking a look at the data, the study authors found that 31 percent of participants think lack of exercise is the hardest thing to overcome, 26 percent said eating the right food is the toughest part, and 17 percent said the financial burden of living a healthy lifestyle is the biggest obstacle. Only 10 percent thought that “psychological well-being” was the most crucial barrier to dropping kilos.
Though the survey takers may have been confused about what one’s “psychological well-being” actually meant, it’s apparent that many of us are convinced that you can muscle your way to a fitter body by diet and exercise alone. “We tend to think that our mind and body are separate, but they’re completely intertwined,” says Michelle May, M.D., author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.