Home / Health & Fitness / Why we must stop ignoring the psychology of weight loss: Alisa Anokhina at TEDxUCL

Why we must stop ignoring the psychology of weight loss: Alisa Anokhina at TEDxUCL

Alisa is a doctoral researcher in clinical health psychology at UCL who has taught and given talks across the country. Her work covers new areas of eating disorder research at the intersection of the conscious and the unconscious. Seven years of experience in journalism has lent itself to an interest in public engagement and the bridging of the gap between the scientific community and the public at large. Her core interest is in understanding how we eat, what we believe about weight loss, and how a ‘diet’ is just ‘die’ with a T.

Talk: Why we must stop ignoring the psychology of weight loss
“Losing weight is really easy; you eat less and exercise more!” But this is simply not true, as many of us may know, most diets only result in temporary weight loss. We often ignore the psychology of eating and internalising wrong beliefs cause us to fail in losing weight. The problem should be tackled as a psychological one, unrealistic expectations should be abandoned and the stigma attributed to weight loss needs to be abandoned. Contrary to suspicious adds and promises of weight loss without effort, the psychology of eating really can give us important insights.

About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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  1. yet another woman whining about not having the gumption to not be a lazy glutton and how it's not her fault.
    YES IT IS : no one is force feeding these cretins.

  2. Move your body, everybody 😉

  3. Eating less but also what you eat.
    It’s easy.
    Go vegan.
    No chat.
    That it.

  4. The ONLY thing that worked for me (tried everything) was to learn to eat intuitively. I'm not skinny but have been stable for several years. If I want a slice of pizza I have one. If I want cake I have it. I dont have to horde food or eat a lot today because tomorrow I'm on my diet. How I eat IS my diet. The paradox I found is that once you stop labeling foods as good vs bad you remove the guilt or shame once previously attached and therefore can eat like a thin person. Eat when hungry stop when full. It sounds simple because it is BUT it took me over 40 years to conclude that weight loss diets are the disease not the cure. The cure is to stop dieting.

  5. Point is, losing weight IS as easy as eating less and exercising more, people just can't actually commit to doing that in the long term because of various psychological factors.

  6. Pay attention when you eat—how you eat. How big are your bites? How fast do you eat? Do you eat and do other things? You’ll eat less naturally if you pay attention to your body’s subtle cues.

  7. Listen for anyone trying to lose weight a temporary diet is only going to work short term it has to be a permanent diet you don’t stop eating McDonald’s for a month lose weight and go back to eating McDonald’s and gaining weight again you stop eating McDonald’s permanently this isn’t a realistic scenario for a diet but it sums it up well

  8. Great ideas about lifestyle and how to lose weight and be healthier both psychologically and physically, but she wasn’t good at demonstrating them.

  9. I think what you're saying is useless, but we can still go on a date if you want

  10. You should look at my 2 year weight loss tranformation

  11. It does seem that some of the replies have missed the point – lots of people do not like the gym. I for one would not have exercised for muscle gain if I hadn't found an outdoor alternative to the regular gym. The main aspect here is do things you like. I definitely have friends that join the gym, go and feel uncomfortable or go and then stop for any number of reasons.

    Hopefully this video will get people to think about how they think!

  12. Eating less is not deprivation. It is fasting. Many cultures fast.

  13. willpower (and self control) are only finite because you tell yourself it is. chunk tasks costing lots of willpower in smaller bits and u can reach anything

  14. Wow, she's an expert on how self-control doesn't work and as a psychologist she should know; this from a woman who dresses like a slob to make a public speech and shows off her metal stud in the middle of her face, perhaps to draw attention to how self-control doesn't work?

  15. Calories in vs calories out is literally the fundemental factor when it comes to bodyweight changes. Eat more than you need and you'll gain weight, eat less than you need and you'll loose it. The very first statement she makes is factually incorrect.

  16. Sounds like clinical health psychology is a waste of time.

  17. i lost 25 kg since january this year, no problem. come on…

  18. Good job. Outside the box thinking

  19. It’s not just how much you eat, it’s the macronutrients in what you’re eating

  20. Don’t deprive the joy of eating food you like but intermittently fast. The food will taste better. However, cutting back on sugary treats is a good idea.

  21. This chick is out of her mind! Please stop eneabling greedy, out of control lazy people!! We can all learn about food and control our habbits!

  22. Weight loss is SIMPLE,. Easy and simple are not the same. Yes losing weight is hard. So? Either you do what it takes or you suffer the consequences of your choices. It's obvious to me that this speaker doesn't know much, but does look for excuses, not reasons to succeed.

  23. Thc 80 percent. In vape pen or other.. Youll lose ..if your active

  24. Your personality shows through this! Love love love!!!

  25. very poor and average presentation.

  26. She looks good, no doubt! So thanks. But she can be a good actor or model. I did not get any new information from this video! I don't know why likes to this video are more than dislikes. She really looks good. So thanks only for that.

  27. Great content, however the speaker was a mess. The hair was distracting, she should have pulled it back. The outfit was a mess and her hand movements were so distracting.

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