Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Top 6 Weight-Loss Lies

Are you being honest with yourself about weight loss? What lies are you telling yourself as you travel the path of weight loss? Maybe more than you realize. It's time to get honest, because those untruths may stand in the way of you reaching your goals. "People may set unrealistic goals or deprive themselves in extreme ways that are very difficult to maintain," says Bethany Teachman, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. "It's no wonder so many people lose weight initially but then have difficulty keeping the weight off." Here we address the most common myths that undermine a healthy approach to weight loss — and offer tips to overcome them to achieve success. 1. I need to go on a "diet" "The whole concept of a 'diet' sets us up to think we will be 'on a diet' then 'off a diet,'" says Teachman. Instead, think of your weight-loss plan as a lifestyle commitment to healthy eating and exercise, for the long haul. 2. I'll get back on track on Monday/after the holidays/when the sun comes out There's no day like today. If you slip, just pick up where you left off. Persistence works wonders. 3. All my problems will be solved when I lose weight Dropping pounds may leave you feeling healthier and happier, but it won't make you more lovable or turn you into a runway model. Be clear about why you want to lose weight, and set realistic goals. "It's far more motivating to strive toward being fit and energetic than it is to strive toward being a size 2," Teachman says. 4. Heavy people don't deserve to eat Do you forgo the office pizza because you're afraid people will think you shouldn't be eating? Seeing yourself through others' eyes in a harsh, critical way "is a surefire way to blow a weight-loss plan," says psychologist Debra Mandel, PhD, author of Healing the Sensitive Heart (Airleaf Publishing, 2005). Instead, she suggests, it's more effective to focus on developing a more loving relationship with your body. A study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Winter 1998) found that those who started out accepting their bodies were more than twice as likely to lose weight than those who felt dissatisfied or ashamed. 5. I shouldn't wear a bathing suit (shorts, a tank top) until I've lost all the weight People of all different sizes and shapes enjoy sexy clothes. "When you love yourself, you start enjoying life," says Mandel. Break big goals into smaller ones, and reward yourself along the way. Rather than saying, "I need to lose 25 pounds," say, "I'll buy a new swimsuit, one size smaller." 6. The less I eat, the faster I'll lose Wrong. "The less we eat, the slower our metabolism gets, and the slower we lose the weight," says Mandel. "Deprivation also makes us unhappy and actually causes us to overeat and overindulge." Increasing your caloric restriction in reasonable amounts can increase weight loss, but cutting back to an unrealistic intake will likely backfire. A slow and steady approach — including treating yourself to your favorite foods, in moderation — is your best bet for building a healthy relationship with food and reaching your long-term goals. So stop telling yourself lies that sabotage your efforts. Instead, start living your life with a weight-loss plan that works for you. You'll feel better about yourself, your confidence will grow, and you'll keep the weight off. Article courtesy of Weight Watchers

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