Intelligent ways to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Ignore the media.
By Dr Heather McKee
After reading last week’s blog on the first insight for The Mindset for Success hopefully you have now broken free of the clutches of the bathroom scales and are experiencing the positive benefits of letting go of weight loss being a punishing numbers game. Your self-esteem should no longer be solely reliant on a arbitrary number, and instead you are focusing on your daily actions and how you genuinely feel about yourself.
However, there is another monster that lurks around the corner bombarding you with mixed messages that can have a hugely detrimental effect on YOUR weight loss mindset. This is the media. As I mentioned last week we are intelligent, informed and capable women – so why are we drawn to articles telling us about ‘Beyoncé’s latest weight loss secret’ or ‘Top tips to lose 5 pounds in 5 days’??!! You only need to read this article to show you how ridiculous some company’s claims can be.
We are all looking for the quick fix, the miracle pill, the silver bullet for weight loss success. Let me tell you now chasing these dreams is only going to result in your failure long term. Which leads us on to the next key mindset insight….
Weight loss should neither be quick nor dramatic
Quick fixes don’t work! Diets by nature are impossible to sustain for prolonged periods of time, thus promoting a yo-yo cycle of unsuccessful weight loss. The media lead us to believe that weight loss should be quick and dramatic. This simply isn’t safe!
One of my main issues with the weight loss industry is how they promote overnight transformations i.e. “before and after” pictures of dramatic changes in body shape and size. Yes, we all want to believe that this can happen to us. But at what cost. The diets associated with these transformations tend to be short, with methods so grueling that no sane person can stick to them for anything more than a couple of weeks. They tend to come with tag lines such as ‘I lost 17lbs in a month and you can too!’. Yet failure to achieve their outrageous targets can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and destroy your confidence to continue with your goals (Cooper & Fairburn, 2001).
What is really frightening is that dramatic, short-term losses tend to lead to larger long-term weight gains. Just Google ‘The Biggest Loser – where are they now?’ to see the devastatingly detrimental effects of short-term, unsustainable weight loss diets.
Ignore anything that promises you a miraculous transformation. You should not trust any programme that promotes overnight success – they are bad for your physical and psychological health. Aggressive lifestyle changes are for results on the scales only and the changes they require are by nature difficult to make and even more impossible to sustain.
Further, these ‘transformation plans’ are generally not evidence-based and are often focused on taking supplements or food replacements to achieve results. This is not real world, you need to ask yourself do I see myself drinking these shakes/taking these supplements in five years time? Is this a long term option for me?
These practices aren’t healthy or kind to your body and importantly your mind. So it’s time to let go of the dream of a quick fix weight loss plan and start focusing on what daily healthy lifestyle changes work for YOU, that you enjoy and can see yourself doing years from now.
Next week… I will be sharing the final evidence based insight that can support you in getting the mindset for weight loss success. Find out more here.
Dr Heather McKee is a Girl Crew Dublin and London member and a behavioural weight loss specialist with expertise in evidence based, intelligent but kind weight loss, helping people build healthy habits for life. If you’d like to know more about your own habits and which ones you need to build for success Heather has created a FREE personalised habit insight report. Click the link to get it now http://weightlosstemptation.com/go/blog-lp/
Cooper, Z., & Fairburn, C. G. (2001). A new cognitive behavioural approach to the treatment of obesity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 39, 499–511. doi:org/10.1016/S0005-7967(00)00065-6 http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2001-06372-001