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Why do I feel so fat when I keep losing weight?

10 Answers
Last Updated: 09/14/2021 at 4:35pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Caroline Middelsdorf, MSc.


I am a warm hearted, patient, calm and open-minded therapist. I am here to dedicate my expertises to my clients and their individual challenges, thoughts and feelings.

Top Rated Answers
June 8th, 2015 6:36pm
First, let me congratulate you for losing weight! It is not an easy thing to do and it's an even bigger challenge to stick with it and keep the weight off. I think still feeling like you're fat, even when you're losing weight is a self-image thing and self-image is sometimes difficult to understand. It's easier to see things about other people sometimes than it is to see the same things in ourselves. Self-image is impacted sometimes by being in denial, or what is called "cognitive dissonance." This is your brain's way of protecting your psyche in the face of hurtful or disappointing circumstances. For example, most smokers know that smoking is bad for them. They know cognitively that if they continue to smoke, there will be unpleasant consequences, but they choose to smoke anyway. I am a recovering cigarette addict, so I know the things we say to ourselves when we choose to smoke in the face of overwhelming evidence that smoking causes heart disease, cancer and a whole host of other health problems: "I'll quit next week," or "I'm still young and in great health. I can smoke for awhile and I'll be okay." But until we get really truthful with ourselves, and admit we're essentially marching ourselves to a early grave, we continue to smoke. Self-image also plays a very important role in how we feel about ourselves when we're overweight. I was obese for many years, and losing seventy pounds about three years ago has done wonders for my energy level and self-esteem. But you know, that fat guy is still there inside me. I still look in the mirror and think to myself, I'm still fat; even when my wife and friends (especially those who I haven't seen in a while) would tell me, "Hey you look great!" I am still cognitive of the fact that I've certainly lost weight, and I certainly feel better, wear smaller clothes and can walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for air. But I am in denial about it a little; I still think I'm overweight when I'm really not anymore. Why? I'm not sure exactly. But I think that somewhere inside of me, I'm telling myself if I get too comfortable with the way I look, I might get complacent and start to put back on the pounds. And certainly, I know that when I don't watch what I eat and count the calories each day, or when I don't get my thirty minutes of high activity a day, I do start to pick up weight pretty quickly, and I just don't want to go there. I don't know if this is how it is for you, but for me, I think I continue to be critical of my weight and size as a defense mechanism, and this keeps my edge so I won't ever become heavy again. Maybe that's part of the answer for you, too. But for you (and me), we should take pride in our accomplishment! Losing weight is hard, and trust me, it gets harder with age. Be proud of yourself for accomplishing a great stride in your health and overall well being. Focus on the positive and keep at it. And I will too. I hope this helps a little. I wish you well and bid you peace!
January 25th, 2016 4:30pm
Weight doesnt determind your fat percentage. Also BMI cannot be reliable. Look in the mirror and analyze it by yourself ! But also keep in your mind that you are more than just a number of people who want to sleep with you.
June 13th, 2017 8:08am
You should remind yourself that you are still loosing weight and it takes time to reach your goals. It is important to remain positive about the progress you have made even when you don't feel as if you are where you want to be.
July 18th, 2017 5:15pm
Because current beauty standards make you feel that way. You should not punish yourself for what other people believe is beautiful. You are beautiful just the way you are.
March 14th, 2015 6:32pm
You could possibly have an eating disorder. It's important to bring this up with a counsellor who can help you with self image stuff.
November 6th, 2015 3:12am
Society is a big contribution of how we look and feel. You have to always remember being healthy is important. Its not only about loosing weight. You don't want to be loosing weight and sitting in the hospital at the same time.
June 7th, 2016 12:36am
The reason for this is because you might be eating a large amount of food in some cases there is an eating disorder involved
April 30th, 2018 9:01pm
I used to look in the mirror and see the image of an enormous person who was really unattractive. The mirror wasn’t the problem however my interprtation was. In my head was a disconnect from the picture everyone else could see. Abandonment made me this way. This was a way of being tainted by the damage of the adults around me in my formative years. Nature verses nurture an on going debate of the truth. Everyone has a different truth. Insecurities made the route ahead more than challenging.
June 11th, 2018 10:03pm
Because you feeling fat is in your consciences unconsience. It is the same as each and every one of us when we are looking at a picture and we all see something we don't like about ourselves what others don't see. You feeling fat while losing weight is not because you are fat, it is because you still feel trapped in that body. You've exceeded your own expectations of losing weight while your unconsience is still thinking it as being fat. Your consience however should know, you are doing great and have every right to feel so as well.
September 14th, 2021 4:35pm
Personally, I feel like it comes from our own critical views. Regardless of how much progress we're making, we still view ourselves in the same light. You may be able to fix one issue, but the second that is out of the way, we find another thing to nitpick about. It's hard to definitively say, but we will always judge ourselves regardless of circumstance or progress we've made. But you're definitely not alone, I can tell you that much. You just need to keep your head up and make sure you are acknowledging the progress you've made. It relies solely on your point of view.