Your Weight-loss Program Might Not Be So Healthy…
Well, I don’t know how Punxsutawney Phil could have possibly seen his shadow, but it sure doesn’t look like Spring is coming anytime soon. To give you an idea of what NYC has been like lately, when I arrived to open our new facility the other day, the lock to the front door was frozen solid (and so was I at 5:45 in the morning…). Fortunately, my brain was still working at that time; I splashed my hot tea on the lock and tried the key again, and it actually opened! I couldn’t believe it. Semi-private training for weight loss went on! Little did I know, I should’ve invited Phil…
But according to THIS REVIEW of almost 200 studies, that groundhog’s weight-loss goal might get him stuck in his hole instead. The majority of research suggests a weight-focused approach to weight loss is usually counterproductive and accompanied by guilt, anxiety, preoccupation with food and body shape, reduced self-esteem, weight discrimination, eating disorders and repeated cycles of weight loss and gain.
Moreover, study authors note that the literature does not support any of the following statements:
* Weight loss will prolong life;
* Anyone who is determined can lose weight and keep it off through appropriate diet and exercise;
* The pursuit of weight loss is a practical and positive goal;
* The only way for overweight and obese people to improve health is to lose weight;
* Obesity-related costs place a large burden on the economy, and this can be corrected by focused attention to obesity treatment and prevention.
Interesting stuff… The best part is that the nutritionist who headed the study is named Bacon.
And she concludes that a better alternative is a focus on changing health behaviors, which has been shown to improve blood pressure and lipid profiles, self-esteem, body image and other health markers – independent of weight change and without the negative aspects of weight-focused programs. What’s even better is that this approach often indirectly leads to more sustainable weight loss. Fingers crossed the rodent listens before next Groundhog Day!
But the research findings make perfect sense when you consider human psychology. I’ve always found that setting health and performance goals keeps people more motivated and consistent, which is really the name of the game when it comes to weight loss.
In any case, you should definitely check out the article – if you can forget about that bacon…