SALT LAKE CITY Pursuing weight loss can be frustrating, lead to weight cycling, and it doesn't necessarily promote more healthful behaviors in the long run.
Some research published in the journal Obesity also indicates that, in some cases, it can actually lower people's metabolisms. Essentially, that means some people can't eat as much as they may want or are hungry for. As a dietitian, I do not recommend weight loss to my clients.
The way we think about our bodies and food has an impact on how we take care of ourselves. I used to mistakenly think that if I ate the "right foods" and exercised the "right amount," then my body would look similar to the bodies of celebrities and people in magazines. Even with a nutrition degree and access to a variety of foods, I never felt like I could eat all the "right foods" and exercise as much as I thought I should. That left me feeling like I failed and wasn't good enough.
I've talked to many clients and others about this and found it's a pretty universal thought. Some might not desire to look like celebrities, but they may want to be smaller than their current selves and believe that pursuit would make them happier, healthier and more worthy of self-acceptance and acceptance from others.
When it comes to giving or receiving compliments for weight loss, our desire to be accepted and receive positive feedback can make it easier to participate in habits that may not benefit us as much as we think. Or, it may keep some people stuck in habits that they know can be harmful.
One way to help ourselves and others feel better in our bodies as they are is to stop complimenting weight loss and avoid talking about weight altogether. Here's why.
Who doesn't want to get complimented? It feels good and encourages continuing the habits that got a person to that compliment. Because it may feel good and validating to receive compliments, they might encourage habits that don't promote health/well-being, as explained on the National Eating Disorder Association's website.
Here's an example: You notice that your friend is looking thinner so you tell them so, and that they look good. If your friend has felt insecure about their body, or even still feels insecure, this positive reinforcement may be interpreted as acceptance for being smaller rather than a simple compliment.
We all want to be accepted, so if someone interprets compliments about their body as acceptance, they may continue to do what they did to get there even if was through habits that weren't enjoyable, or even harmful. There can be a lot of unintended consequences from a simple statement because our relationships with our bodies are complicated and deep.
Some may think the faster the weight loss, the better. But a couple of studies that came out from following past participants of "The Biggest Loser," [including one study published Obesity](ne published in Obesity,), show that their metabolisms actually slowed down after lots of exercise and extreme dieting. Unless you're someone who could eat whatever you wanted without it affecting your weight or health, that's not ideal.
There are lots of medical conditions that can affect weight, and even medications or life changes. The Mayo Clinic says eating disorders, heart failure, diabetes, Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases, and depression can contribute to weight loss. Some can also cause weight gain.
Consider this conversation: "Oh, you look great. What diet are you on?"
"I'm doing chemotherapy and it's zapped my appetite."
Avoid putting someone who is already dealing with a medical condition in an uncomfortable position by not commenting on weight loss.
Think about your own experiences or the experiences of people close to you. Have you ever worked to change your weight? If so, how hard was it? What happened when you eased back into eating the way you did before a diet or lifestyle change? Parts of losing weight or working to keep it off can be extremely difficult, and even miserable for some people.
Our bodies are designed to protect themselves, as research published by the American Journal of Psychology shows, that's why we get hungry and preoccupied with food when we're not eating enough. Constantly working against that biological, necessary drive can make things even harder.
As mentioned above, trying to lose weight and keep it off is difficult and doesn't work the same for most people. When we focus on weight, we're often missing the very important actions of adapting our habits to make us feel better physically and emotionally. These habits will look different for everyone and may not cause weight changes but, as the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine points out, you can still improve overall well-being and health if that's something you want to pursue.
One hurdle to practicing beneficial habits is weight stigma. Weight stigma is more defined in an article for Scientific American by Lindo Bacon who also wrote "Health at Every Size" which goes on to say, "Fat isn't the problem. Dieting is the problem." The concept of losing weight to achieve health and wellness doesn't look at the full picture, and it definitely doesn't take the harmful outcomes from weight stigma into account either. Some collateral damage from weight stigma include discrimination, fear of fat and the habits that result from fearing fat, medical misdiagnoses, bullying (including people being harassed to get "healthier"), and a sedentary lifestyle.
Therefore, when you compliment someone for weight loss you may be reinforcing the idea that smaller is better even healthier than bigger, and that isn't always true.
How do you lose weight? You can do lots of things and boil it all down to weight loss, but is it the weight loss or the habits that change your well-being and/or health that can also result in a change in your weight?
It's the habits.
And you can still see benefits from changing habits even if your weight doesn't change. When you focus on a number on the scale, you might be missing the habits and can feel like a failure because you're not paying attention to those habits you may have changed. Feeling like a failure doesn't set you up for continuing with habits that make your body feel better or improve your overall well-being.
Imagine this: You're exercising for hours each day, you're hungry most of the time, and you've lost weight. You're not supplying your body with the energy and nutrients you need, and it's hard. But you get lots of compliments on how your body looks. Is it really better to continue those miserable habits that don't promote your health if you keep getting little hits of positivity from others?
My suggestion is to just stop complimenting others for weight loss. Many people might be trying to be nice by giving compliments, but it's important to consider the downstream effects of comments on weight before paying a "compliment."
And with that, consider not mentioning any weight changes at all. Weight talk doesn't always motivate people to take care of themselves in the best way. The first step toward true body acceptance is to just become more aware of the way we talk about food, dieting and weight, and start to change the things we say to others and to ourselves.
If you struggle with your body image, or have an eating disorder, check out these resources from the National Eating Disorders Association.
Editor's Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.
See the original post:
7 reasons to stop complimenting others on weight loss - KSL.com
- 7-day diet plan for weight loss: Here is what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner to lose fat - Times Now - January 15th, 2021
- Tips for that post-holiday diet and how to lose weight after the holidays - ABC 4 - January 15th, 2021
- Five ways you lose all that holiday weight - Yahoo Canada Shine On - January 15th, 2021
- Sherri Shepherd and HealthyWage Partner to Pay $10,000 to Dieters Achieving Weight Loss Goal - Black Enterprise - January 15th, 2021
- This Tea May Help You Lose Weight While Sleeping - Researchers Reveal - NDTV Food - January 15th, 2021
- Local dieticians give advice on how to lose weight and keep it off - 69News WFMZ-TV - January 15th, 2021
- Americans blame mindless eating and weight gain on doom-scrolling and boredom - Yahoo Entertainment - January 15th, 2021
- If Youre Planning On Losing Weight In 2021, Think Before You Tell Me About It - Refinery29 - January 15th, 2021
- Weight loss transformation of Bollywood celebrities that left us stunned - Yahoo Finance UK - January 15th, 2021
- 21 Ways to Get a Flat Belly After 40, According to Experts | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That - January 15th, 2021
- If You Want To Keep Your New Years Resolution, Stop Doing These 3 Things - CBS Denver - January 15th, 2021
- Genes and diet can play a role in developing Type 2 diabetes - Norton Healthcare - January 15th, 2021
- Is jogging good for weight loss? Here are 5 cardio exercises that will keep your weight in check - Times Now - January 15th, 2021
- Add more of this vitamin in your diet to lose weight in winter - Times of India - January 3rd, 2021
- Green tea may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, powering your workout, and more - Insider - INSIDER - January 3rd, 2021
- Weight loss: How to lose weight fast - top fat burning snacks - Express - January 3rd, 2021
- 'I Counted Calories And Did Resistance Training To Lose 60 PoundsAnd I've Kept It Off For 3 Years' - Women's Health - January 3rd, 2021
- Lose weight and enjoy food in 2021 with exclusive recipes from cookery sensations Pinch of Nom - The Sun - January 3rd, 2021
- 'I had a son I needed to be around for': Edmonton father develops own weight loss app - Edmonton Journal - January 3rd, 2021
- 'Why I will never resolve to lose weight again' - 9Honey - January 3rd, 2021
- Weight loss: "I replaced refined oils with cold-pressed oils" - Times of India - January 3rd, 2021
- Jerry Brewer: Tallying up a year of loss - A lot of pounds, too many loved ones, countless connections - The Spokesman-Review - January 3rd, 2021
- 6 foods that boost your metabolism and may help you lose weight - Yahoo News - January 3rd, 2021
- 'At 180kgs, I decided to quit dieting. Quit trying to lose weight. Hopefully forever.' - Mamamia - January 3rd, 2021
- Eastern Panhandle health officials offer new years resolution advice - Martinsburg Journal - January 3rd, 2021
- 10 New Year's resolutions that are better than "losing quarantine weight" - The Know - January 3rd, 2021
- Soft Belly Fat vs Hard Belly Fat: Which is more difficult to lose and why? - TheHealthSite - January 3rd, 2021
- If you added some pandemic pounds in 2020, try setting goals and changing habits in 2021 - Anchorage Daily News - January 3rd, 2021
- Six reasons why you are not losing weight - The Standard - December 17th, 2020
- 7 ways to stay motivated on your weight loss journey, according to a dietitian - Insider - INSIDER - December 17th, 2020
- Want to lose weight fast? Add these Ayurvedic herbs to your diet - TheHealthSite - December 17th, 2020
- Weight loss: I followed 16 hours of daily fasting and walked every day - Times of India - December 17th, 2020
- New Survey Finds 71 Million Americans Have Gained Weight Throughout the Pandemic - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- Weight loss: Biggest celebrity weight loss stories of 2020 - Times of India - December 17th, 2020
- New survey finds 71 million Americans have gained weight during the COVID-19 pandemic - Boston Herald - December 17th, 2020
- Still carrying extra lockdown weight? Here's five great offers to help... - Cambridge Independent - December 17th, 2020
- 71 Million Americans Have Gained Weight Throughout the Pandemic - Essence - December 17th, 2020
- In 2021, say goodbye to restrictive diets and hello to Noom - CNN - December 17th, 2020
- Marvel Star Chris Pratt Admitted He Had Body Image Issues Before Losing Weight for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - December 17th, 2020
- Fennel Seeds for Gas and Bloating: We Take a Long, Hard Sniff - Greatist - December 17th, 2020
- Walking vs. running: Weight loss, heart health, and more - Medical News Today - December 10th, 2020
- Lose The Weight With Sonya Jones - thejournal-news.net - December 10th, 2020
- 'Pressured to lose weight', Sport News & Top Stories - The Straits Times - December 10th, 2020
- Eat well to stay well is the favourite recipe to your weight loss success - Belfast Telegraph - December 10th, 2020
- Ghislaine Maxwell Losing Weight and Hair in Prison on Jeffrey Epstein Charges: Lawyer - Newsweek - December 10th, 2020
- Lorry driver so overweight he had to be carried by forklift loses half his body weight - Wales Online - December 10th, 2020
- Why 'Little House on the Prairie' Star Melissa Sue Anderson Was Told to Lose Weight When She Was Cast as Mary Ingalls - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - December 10th, 2020
- How to Safely Exercise in the Dark - msnNOW - December 10th, 2020
- Ability to lose weight is not affected by age - Medical News Today - December 9th, 2020
- Lose Weight and Stay Sane This Season! The Energy Balance Equation - The Great Courses Daily News - December 9th, 2020
- 4 Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Lose Weight By The Holidays - SheFinds - December 9th, 2020
- Intermittent Fasting: The Beginners Guide to Time-Restricted Eating, 5:2 Diets, and Other Forms of Intermittent Fasting - GQ - December 9th, 2020
- What are probiotic foods and how they help lose weight and belly fat - Times of India - December 9th, 2020
- Weight loss: Reset these hormones to lose stubborn belly fat - TheHealthSite - December 9th, 2020
- Weight Loss: All The Reasons Why You Should Be Eating Eggs In Winter - NDTV - December 9th, 2020
- Losing weight and raising pounds for the East Cheshire Hospice - In Your Area - December 9th, 2020
- How To Lose Weight In Unprecedented Times With Nico Dandini, Fitness Professional And Coach At Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning - Yahoo Finance - December 9th, 2020
- It's never too late to ramp up your retirement savingshere's how to get started later in life - MarketWatch - December 9th, 2020
- Did Aamir Khan drop Vijay Sethupati from Laal Singh Chaddha for not losing weight, here's the truth - IBTimes India - December 9th, 2020
- Peloton star Tunde Oyeneyin shares her tips for self-care and staying disciplined: 'Focus on what you want to gain' - Yahoo Lifestyle - December 9th, 2020
- 7 common reasons why you're not losing weight and tips to help you shed stubborn pounds - Insider - INSIDER - December 8th, 2020
- Here's Everything You Need to Know About Losing Weight by Walking - News18 - December 8th, 2020
- Reverse Dieting: Can it Actually Help You Lose Weight? - News18 - December 8th, 2020
- Try this healthy way to lose weight - Times of India - December 8th, 2020
- Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Weight Loss Plan - ABCmoney.co.uk - December 8th, 2020
- Weight loss story: I started having jeera water, chia seeds water, green tea and black coffee - Times of India - December 8th, 2020
- One item to add to your wellness tool kit this holiday season! - 100 Mile House Free Press - December 8th, 2020
- Gen Z teens dieting and worrying about weight 'more than previous generations' - Wales Online - December 8th, 2020
- Peloton star Tunde Oyeneyin shares her tips for self-care and staying disciplined: 'Focus on what you want to gain' - Yahoo Canada Shine On - December 8th, 2020
- TikTok investigating videos promoting starvation and anorexia - The Guardian - December 8th, 2020
- Gaining weight can be difficult but here are the safest ways to do it - The Conversation UK - November 27th, 2020
- 7 Low-Carb Diet Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight - LIVESTRONG.COM - November 27th, 2020
- Health tips for men: Lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and improve your overall health - fingerlakes1.com - November 27th, 2020
- Age No Barrier to Weight Loss in Those With Morbid Obesity - Medscape - November 27th, 2020
- Age Doesn't Matter When It Comes to Losing Weight, Study - Science Times - November 27th, 2020
- Weight loss story: I have a hot cup of amla jeera water every morning - Times of India - November 27th, 2020
- Weight loss: "My IT career made me pile on 25 kilos! Here is how I lost it and became a bodybuilder" - Times of India - November 27th, 2020
- 3 inspiring tips that helped this woman lose 95 kilograms - 7NEWS.com.au - November 27th, 2020
- Jeff Dana of Prolean Wellness will show you how to lose weight during the holidays - Yahoo News - November 27th, 2020
- 5 Smoothie Rules You Must Follow to Lose Weight - nation.lk - The Nation Newspaper - November 27th, 2020