Loss aversion is the idea that there is a tendency for people to strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains. Loss aversion is based on the fact that people feel losses significantly more that they feel the joy of gains. So decisions are made to avoid the losses.
So how does this play out in regards to someone’s weight loss and exercise efforts? I think the first thing we need to ask is how someone “loses” when it comes to weight loss and exercise. I think the ‘loss’ in this case is failing to lose weight or to exercise. No one wants to feel like a failure. It is an awful feeling. So what ends up happening is that nothing happens. If you don’t start, you can’t fail. I know that does not make a lot of sense but think of it this way….
I know I need to lose weight. I have tried before and had a hard time sticking to a diet and exercise plan. I would lose a few pounds and then gain some. It would go back and forth and then I would just give up. Now if I never start then I can not become disappointed in myself. I won’t be a failure.
No one will ever tell you that weight loss is easy. There are so many different variables at play. But the struggle is worth it. It is really a life altering matter. It really is a matter of chipping away at the extra pounds while developing healthier habits. Finding the support to persevere is key in keeping things progressing the way you want.
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