The Interconnection of Positivity and Weight Loss
Many propose as their New Year’s resolution, that this year they will lose weight. Many will buy gym memberships and begin attending continuously throughout the week, however as the rest of the week continues, fewer and fewer will be seen on a treadmill. Question is why people give up so soon. Are they too busy? Is a gym membership too expensive? Most often than not, people lose the motivation to go to the gym, exercise and eat healthily. As a result, 40% of American adults are obese. And out of this 40%, two-thirds of this population attempted to lose weight in the past 12 months (Kaplan, 2018). To help people lose weight, thousands of companies have produced products to help people lose weight, but few to none actually work. Some claims suggest that the best way to lose weight is by eating fruits and vegetables and exercising, however, if this were that simple, many people would have been able to attain their weight loss goals from the very first attempt. Although diet and exercise advice is abundant, less frequently mentioned factors that can influence weight loss is the effectiveness of setting realistic goals, positive influences from healthy relationships, and the power of maintaining a positive mindset.
Positive Relationships and Weight Loss
Though peer pressure has a negative connotation for influencing a peer in a negative manner, having positive influences from high-quality peers can help in attaining difficult goals, such as weight loss. Many studies over the years have found that people generally live longer, happier, healthier lives if they have a strong network of support from friends and family. With regards to weight loss, a support system is essential for times of distress. A study conducted found that participants in weight loss support groups who share experiences and suggestions related to weight loss, were three times more likely than other participants to attain and maintain their weight loss goals. Therefore, the use of TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) demonstrated to be an effective weight loss technique for those who have repeatedly attempted weight loss but were still significantly obese (Elder et al., 2010). More research studies also gathered that close relationship partners, such as good friends, romantic partners, and family members, are more influential in supporting weight loss than a mere acquaintance (Theiss, Carpenter, & Leustek, 2016). Additionally, individuals who are able to maintain weight losses cope with stressful situations in healthy ways like conversating with friends. Activities such as emotional eating (when sad, bored, or mad) are counterproductive towards a weight loss goal (Theiss et al., 2016). The research above positively correlates positive relationships with weight loss attainment. Correspondingly, strengthening social relationships for moral support is considered important for fighting weight-related issues. Rather than focusing on the individual patient in isolation, family and friend networks and the communities where people live need to be considered as well because the strong effect people have on others. As a result, clusters of friends and family can help both establish and spread healthy norms, such as regularly checking weight, exercising, watching calories, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Weight loss takes patience, time and dedication but with the support of family and friends, people are more likely to achieve their weight loss goals and sustain them over time with a positive mindset.
Positive Mindsets and Weight Loss
Positive thinking plays a significant role in weight loss efforts. Constant negative thoughts can lead to self-defeating behaviors such as going off a diet, overeating and skipping exercise routines. Positive thoughts, on the other hand, can increase motivation and energy levels. A negative attitude can set processes in motion that makes losing weight difficult, if not impossible. When a person holds a negative image of themselves, they rob themselves of much-needed energy. As a result, 85% of people suffer from low self-esteem, which can lead to weight gain and bad habits (Bennett, 2010). Many claims insist that more confidence enhances one’s ability to achieve goals. Study’s findings suggest that the experience of hope has a positive impact on goal-striving by sustaining effort despite receiving negative feedback from others (Nelissen, 2017). Moreover, more research describes how the evaluation of mood status and dietary intake in subjects that showed low mood was related to the consumption of poorer diet quality. For instance, 68% of the participants who were observed as having high depressive symptoms, more than half were likely to follow an unhealthy diet that particularly consisted of excessive cholesterol and total caloric intake (Perez-Cornago, Zulet, & Martinez, 2015). Therefore, people who successfully lose weight believe in themselves and their ability to stick with the weight loss approach chosen. When feeling powerless, depressed or unmotivated, it becomes easy to skip a daily workout or eat a bag of potato chips to feel better. However, tuning into one’s feelings and fully acknowledging those feelings and transforming those thoughts into something more positive can significantly help with achieving weight loss goals faster. Respectively, internalized positive thoughts can manifest into overall mental and physical wellbeing. Learning how to maintain a positive mindset, specifically with regards to weight and body image, can be of use for others who are currently struggling with weight issues. The constant need to diet and drive for thinness is often communicated and internalized from a young age. Once internalized, people may inadvertently perpetuate the cycle by passing those same ideals onto others—including children, students, patients, and communities. This harmful cycle can be stopped by teaching people about healthy coping techniques that will enable them to accomplish important lifestyle changes.
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