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Old 05-16-2011, 01:47 PM   #1  
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Default The Top 6 Weight-Loss Lies

I got this in my email today, from WW, and I thought it could benefit some of you. If you're a WW member, you can find it here.

The Top 6 Weight-Loss Lies
Article By: Toby Bilanow

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.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #2  
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When I truly "got" number 1, that's when weightloss became easier. Before then I would go on diets, then off diets and never maintain the loss. I'd buy all diet foods and low fat low cal versions of junk food. Now I eat healthier, and make nutrious, mostly whole food choices. When I want to endulge, I do, but with discretion.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:42 PM   #3  
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For me, it was #6. In the past I was all about restricting to the point I just didn't die. That was in the past and obviously it didn't work long term. I will admit to starting out that way in early January but I found this msg board and it all started sinking in. I resolved myself to the fact that slower WAS better. I never imagined myself celebrating a 2 pound a week loss vs. the 5 I might have had had I been starving myself. And I celebrated 2 pounds because I was NOT suffering to get there!

#4 is still a sticking point with me but now I think people are thinking, "Oh, there goes ShanIAm with the chips. I knew she couldn't maintain that weight loss for too long. She'll be fat again soon enough!". If I'm having a bad day, I won't eat in front of others. If it's an I-Don't-Give-A-F*** day then I'll savor every bite.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:48 PM   #4  
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#2 is stiill hard for me. I'll mess up and say screw it, I'll just start over tomorrow. And that happens day after day. That is why I now only weigh myself 2-3x a week, because everyday was making it too hard for me to stay committed.

#4 is another toughie. I hate that I can't eat in public without feeling like everyone is staring at me saying "She ate all that!"
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:30 PM   #5  
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I used to struggle with #5 until I realized, "I'm fat. It doesn't matter whether I'm wearing a muu-muu or a bikini - they all know I'm fat!" It was actually kind of liberating. :-P

Still, I will not wear shorts because I loathe my thighs and knees. I'll wear capris or long skirts instead. When I do wear a bathing suit, I generally have a wrap around my waist. Unless I have a drink in my hand - then I don't care what anyone thinks! LOL!
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #6  
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I know this goes against weight-loss orthodoxy, but I'm not so sure about the whole "lifestyle change" thing.

I mean, I guess in hindsight that is what I have done - I have accomplished a lifestyle change - but I think for many people, thinking about it that way in the beginning is very daunting. It's potentially harmful in at least two ways. First, it sounds so massive - "Commit to a lifestyle change!" - that it encourages fear and delay of the "oh, it's not a good time to make all those changes" variety. And second, making decisions today about the "rest of your life" encourages "woe is me" thinking - I can never have _______ again, woe is me!

I know everyone is different, but what worked for me was not thinking about the rest of my life at all, but rather focusing in on every individual choice, every moment of decision. What am I going to eat today, right now? Am I going to spend some time planning and cooking for this week? Am I going to make sure that I have an apple in my bag? Am I going to order a drink, or not? Am I going to the gym today? These are the kind of choices I make a dozen times a day. By focusing on making the best choice each time I'm faced with a choice, I made a lifestyle change, one choice at a time - without ever having to tackle the concept of "the rest of my life". And when I am faced with some temptation, I can say "hm, not today" instead of "woe is me, never again!"

I know everyone's different and all that, I just wanted to offer this perspective. When I look back after almost two years of this, I can say hey, look, I made a lifestyle change. But I never really thought about it that way while I was doing it - it was just too much for me to think about.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:52 PM   #7  
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#5 gets me every time. I think that I can't wear a bathing suit and I can't wear shorter shorts because my thighs and butt are so saggy and big. This thinking is very detrimental, but I can't help it. I know my butt and thighs are saggy and I don't want anyone else seeing them! I had a bikini...once...in 8th grade...and it had a little frilly skirt at the bottom -- even then I was so ashamed of my thighs.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #8  
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I kind of had the same issue carter describes, that every "lifestyle change plan" included changes to my diet I wasn't ready to make. For me it was making gradual changes that I could live with, then adjusting again as my weight decreased and my lifestyle got healthier. But if someone had told me to eat the way I do now and exercise as much as I do, I would have rejected the idea entirely to go curl up in front of the TV with my bag of cheetos.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #9  
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I have found all these to be true, it's a great article
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:11 PM   #10  
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TFS this! Its really something to think about.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:19 PM   #11  
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Hey LisaP - I was reading over the same thing just last night and meditating over them.

Number 2 & 3 & 4 especially resonated with me with how I used to see things.

I really have to think about number 3. I realize not all of my problems will be lifted off my shoulders when I hit goal weight or get close to it, and yet... I'll be at goal weight. I feel like that's one problem that will be "solved".

I can see how the GIANT LOOMING LIFESTYLE CHANGE could really be intimidating to some people, but for me when I began I tried to accept it was forever... and that's why I had to start out with one or two little things and then add. I also started with the "fun" things to add in first. "More fruits & veggies? Of course I can add more of those in, I love them!"
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