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Weigh Loss Myths

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Essay title: Weigh Loss Myths

1)Myth: Dieting is a good way for me to lose weight.

Fact: 95-98% of people who go on a diet gain back all the weight they lose plus more, according to a National Institute of Health study. If you talk to someone you know who is a long-term dieter, chances are they will tell you that they weigh more now than before they started dieting.

Positive Step: The key to a healthy relationship with food is to eat when you are hungry, eat exactly what you are hungry for and stop when you are satisfied. When you eat in this way, your body will stabilize at its natural weight.

2)Myth: I can stop my body from adding fat cells by eating less.

Fact: Around puberty, girls will find that their bodies develop fat around their hips, thighs and buttocks. This is supposed to happen, even though there is much pressure in our culture to stay thin. When you try to stop this process by restricting your food intake, especially during adolescence, your body is programmed to think that you will not be prepared for child-bearing years. As a result, you will have a physiological response in which you will produce more fat cells and larger fat cells that will be with you for life.

Positive Step: Accept the fact that your body will naturally change throughout the life cycle. Celebrate the health and capacities of your body rather than trying to attain cultural ideals which are unrealistic.

3) Myth: I should only eat healthy foods.

Fact: Although it is important to include healthy foods in your diet, we all like a variety of foods and we live in a society where food is abundant. When you tell yourself you can’t have a certain food, such as a cookie, you feel a sense of deprivation. Eventually, you will rebel against the deprivation and eat more cookies than your body needs. While you may feel out of control, this is a normal reaction to restricting foods.

Positive Step: Keep all foods “legal.” When you eat a wide variety of foods in response to physiological hunger, your diet will be nutritionally balanced. Everyone likes to eat all types of foods, and allowing yourself to do so will help you avoid the trap of the diet/binge cycle.

4) Myth: The more I exercise, the better off I’ll be.

Fact: Exercise is an excellent way to keep your body healthy and strong. However, exercise can become a compulsive activity causing physical and emotional problems. If you must exercise every day in order to feel O.K., exercise for hours at a time, or if exercise gets in the way of other activities, you have probably become a compulsive exerciser.

Positive Step: Focus on exercise as a way to stay fit rather than as a way to lose weight. If you choose to develop a regular exercise schedule, make sure that it enhances your lifestyle rather than becoming an obsession.

5) Myth: People who are thinner are healthier

Fact: People who are fit are healthier. In fact, a recent study found that it is healthier to be larger and fit than to be thin and unfit.

Positive Step: Consider a reasonable plan for movement or exercise at your current size that feels comfortable to you. There are now many programs that offer classes for larger people in a safe, accepting environment with an emphasis on fitness rather than weight loss.

6) Myth: I can’t be happy unless I’m thin.

Fact: There are happy and unhappy people at all sizes. Research shows that the key to having a high self-esteem is for you and your family to value who you are and respect your body, no matter what your size.

Positive Step: Some important things you can do for yourself, no matter what shape or body size you have, are to stay fit, eat according to your physical hunger, and develop a loving attitude toward your body. If you overeat because of emotional reasons, or generally feel unhappy, consider getting help from a therapist so that you can deal directly with the issues in your life that makes you unhappy.

7) Myth: Losing weight is a matter of willpower.

Fact:

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