Why are you having trouble losing weight?

Weight is a concern that can be more or less important depending on the person. Some people are afraid of getting fat, others strive to lose weight.
Perhaps you are one of those people who try to lose weight regularly and especially when summer arrives. This weight loss is difficult and can be a source of great suffering. Food will gradually become an obsession with perpetual questioning: Am I eating too much? Am I doing the right thing by eating this? Is it not too fatty/too sweet…? And this can lead to different behaviors such as food urges or on the contrary to excessive restriction.

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1. Why am I gaining weight but not losing it?

  • Heavy snacking: Snacking is one of the first causes of weight gain. In fact, they are often done without any physiological need to eat, i.e. without any feeling of hunger, but are often present during moments of boredom, special times, holidays or even according to positive or negative emotions.
  • Alternating different diets: When you want to lose weight, you will try different diets that you can find. These diets will allow weight loss during its realization, but will favor a weight regain at the end of it. These diets are often low in calories and cannot be maintained over the long term without causing deficiencies. 
  • To go from periods of restriction to periods of letting go of food: The restriction of food will lead to periods of important letting go which will bring a yo-yo effect on the weight gain.
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Hereditary factors: You will tend to gain weight more easily if both your parents are overweight.
  • Medication treatments: Some treatments can promote weight gain, such as medications containing cortisone.
  • Hormonal problems: such as thyroid insufficiency or menopause
  • Food urges such as binge eating
  • Food addictions


You know the different tips to lose weight, you try to put them in place. But nothing happens. You can’t stop yourself from eating, from adding a little sweetness at the end of meals or between meals. You just can’t help it.

Perhaps you suffer from binge eating or food addiction?

The line between food addiction and binge eating is not always clear. Food addiction is a relatively recent and still controversial concept, despite some scientific evidence that it exists.

Some authors put binge eating disorder and food addiction on the same continuum of severity. Food addiction would be a more severe continuation of binge eating.

As in the case of addiction to other substances, addiction to food will lead to an ever-increasing need to consume the addictive food.

2. What is a food addiction?

It is the fact of developing an addictive behavior towards a source of pleasure such as food. That is, you become addicted to certain foods rich in fat or sugar.  Food addiction could be one of the explanations for weight gain in patients as well as difficulties in changing their diet.

a. What are the consequences of addiction in everyday life?

Like any form of addiction, it will cause anguish, a feeling of uneasiness and lack when the desired food cannot be consumed. An addiction causes anguish, a feeling of uneasiness or lack


3. What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is one of the eating disorders. It is characterized by attacks of important food ingestions. You are going to absorb a large quantity of food, in a compulsive way with a lot of difficulties to stop, and this whatever the time of the day.

With binge eating, you feel like you are losing control over your food intake.

In this hyperphagia you can: 

  • eat much faster than normal
  • Eat without feeling hungry
  • Eating alone on the sly, at all hours
  • feeling uncomfortable about eating too much 
  • feel shame, guilt or even disgust towards yourself for having eaten too much.

How common is binge eating?

Binge eating disorder occurs in 3 to 5% of the population. Unlike other eating disorders, it affects men and women almost equally and is often diagnosed in adulthood.

a. What are the psychological vulnerabilities of binge eating?

Binge eating is often linked to your emotions. Indeed, if you suffer from depressive disorders, hyperactivity, low self-esteem, you are all the more likely to suffer from binge eating.

This hyperphagia is also related to the use of substances such as tobacco, drugs…

b. What can trigger this bulimic hyperphagia?

Various life events can lead you to trigger this type of disorder such as a period of significant stress, depression, trauma or significant food restriction.

c. What are the consequences of binge eating on a daily basis?

Beyond the medical and physical aspect, binge eating can have many other consequences in everyday life.

Often this eating disorder is accompanied by guilt, shame and low self-esteem.

Social life will be impacted by this hyperphagia. It is more difficult to go to restaurants or to invite people to your home for meals. You have the impression that others are likely to judge you on your consumption. Some social relationships will be impacted and may lead to dissolution of the social network.

4. How to avoid or prevent weight gain?

  • Have a balanced diet: You hear a lot about rebalancing your diet. Be careful not to confuse food rebalancing with dieting. A diet starts with a restriction. Rebalancing your diet will teach you how to eat in a balanced and adapted way. You can go see a dietician to learn from her this new way of eating. To accompany you, you can call upon a nutritionist who will guide you throughout this rebalancing.
  • Physical activity: In addition to being good for your health in general and allowing you to reduce stress on a daily basis, sport is the only factor that allows you to spend the calories consumed.
  • You know you have to eat a balanced diet and do sports! But if you do nothing, you can’t control yourself, you eat without hunger and without stopping or with great difficulty. You may be suffering from bulimic hyperphagia. In these cases, a multidisciplinary treatment may be necessary.

First of all, medical care: indeed, this pathology can lead to other complications such as diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure … Moreover, they are often linked to other psychiatric disorders such as depression.

You can also call upon dietary management concerning food and nutritional monitoring, as well as therapeutic management.

5. The different types of therapies

  • Discussion groups: Social support is important in this type of pathology. Thus, it can be interesting to be accompanied through discussion groups in order to work on social representations, on the accessibility and availability of food.
  • Body-psychological therapies such as mindfulness meditation: to become aware that this type of pathology is modulated more by our emotional feelings than by feelings of hunger and satiety.
  • Individual therapy is important in the context of weight gain and particularly in the context of eating disorders such as binge eating. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will allow you to identify your automatic, limiting thoughts as well as your emotions related to your consumption. These identifications will allow you to work on them and to modify them into more functional thoughts. This is what is called cognitive restructuring. Thus you will finally be able to become aware of the reasons for your consumption so that you can act and no longer suffer. So that food is no longer a source of suffering but of pleasure. Virtual reality will allow you to put yourself in a situation, to expose yourself in different environments related to your food consumption. Thus you will have direct access to different thoughts and emotions. The goal of this therapy by exposure to virtual reality is to expose you in order to help you desensitize yourself, to decondition yourself from this anxiety that follows you in the context of this food.