I know, I know, this all sounds a bit like “new age feel-goodery” but actually it’s just good common sense. A team of researchers have carried out a study which shows that if weight loss programmes include a component dealing with body image and people’s attitudes to themselves, those same people are more able to lose weight…
As Science Daily reports:
Researchers from the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University enrolled overweight and obese women on a year-long weight loss program. Half the women were given general health information about good nutrition, stress management, and the importance of looking after yourself. The other half attended 30 weekly group sessions (the intervention plan) where issues such as exercise, emotional eating, improving body image and the recognition of, and how to overcome, personal barriers to weight loss and lapses from the diet were discussed
The group who attended the behavioural sessions reported that their general body image and self esteem improved, which had the knock on effect of making them more able to to effectively control their eating patterns. In fact the did far better than the dieters who were only given information, losing an average of 7% of their starting body weight over the 30 week period, versus only 2% for the other group.
Dr Teixeira from Technical University of Lisbon, who led the research, said, ”
Body image problems are very common amongst overweight and obese people, often leading to comfort eating and more rigid eating patterns, and are obstacles to losing weight. Our results showed a strong correlation between improvements in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples’ opinions, and positive changes in eating behavior. From this we believe that learning to relate to your body in healthier ways is an important aspect of maintaining weight loss and should be addressed in every weight control program.
Source : Science Daily