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The ideal body image for most women is to have a low body fat percentage, or rather to be small in some places and juicy in others. While there is certainly no problem with that, the reason and method of achieving this goal and the ideal body is of consideration.
Your reason for wanting to lose unwanted pounds will determine how you go about doing it.
Weight bias is the term for negative weight-related attitudes, beliefs, assumptions and judgments toward individuals who are overweight and obese.¹ This definition includes those underweight and anyone with an eating disorder. The belief that shame and guilt will encourage a person to lose weight or that those unable to lose weight have no self-control or discipline is the leading cause of weight bias.²
Putting guilt and shame on yourself to look "better" is an unhealthy way to motivate weight loss and could lead to you choosing dangerous and unreliable ways to lose weight fast. Women's insecurity about appearances is the leading cause of the endless "lose fat fast" products, diets, equipment and exercise routines available today.
Three unproductive ways to lose weight:
1 - Fat Burners and Weight Loss Supplements:
Supplements don't put you in a calorie deficit (when you burn more calories than you consume) - the process by which the human body sheds unnecessary weight.
The majority of over-the-counter fat burners are not regulated or FDA approved, which means you could be consuming dangerous ingredients that have the potential to give you seen or unseen health issues. Supplements are a short-term fix. Many people usually gain back the weight that they lost (and sometimes more) after they've stopped taking them.
2 - Lack of Stress Management/ Coping Skills:
Cortisol is released into your body under stress, giving you a temporary 'high' to escape the situation causing you anxiety (flight or fight reaction). Once the high wears off, your body seeks to replenish its energy levels in the form of cravings - mainly for high-carbohydrate and sugar foods.
Especially for those who stress-eat (obtaining temporary relief from stressors by eating/snacking), developing stress management skills will provide a productive method for dealing with stress. These coping methods will ensure you stay on track with your eating plan even when life throws you curveballs.
3 - "10-minute belly burning" exercises:
If only we could do a few weeks of those "10-minute ab workouts" and have a shredded 6-pack to show off by the end of it. Ab exercises are essential for a balanced workout routine and can improve your balance, but unfortunately, they won't "melt away the belly fat".
Spot reduction (the made-up concept of losing fat from a specific body part) is not biologically possible. Fat loss happens all over your body, and your genetics determine the levels of fat storage in those areas.
The results you may see or experience from doing these videos are most likely from increasing your heart rate, which can lead to burning off some calories or losing water weight from sweating.
The most effective way to lose weight is a combination of the things that these quick fixes don't give you:
Healthy eating habits
An effective exercise routine
Stress management skills
Dedication to, and the appreciation of, the process
A reason for calling it a weight loss journey is because it's accepted that you'll go through hills and valleys - highs and lows, and during it is where you'll learn of your self-sabotaging behaviours. It isn't always easy to change the way we live - what we eat, what we spend our money on, and our usual routines. When you're dedicated to making changes for your physical, mental and emotional health, those growing pains will be worth the end result.
Would you like to learn how to cope with stress better so it no longer sabotages your weight loss progress? Looking for a sustainable weight loss program that keeps carbs, your favourite foods and it still gets you great results?
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Written by: Andrea Thelen of AuthenticAndrea44
2nd September 2022
¹ Alberga, A. S., Russell-Mayhew, S., von Ranson, K. M., & McLaren, L. (2016, November 7). Weight bias: A call to action. Journal of eating disorders from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5100338/
² Washington, R. L. (2011, September). Childhood obesity: Issues of weight bias. Preventing chronic disease from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181194/
DISCLAIMER: All blog posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice or recommendations given in these posts does not supersede directions received by a licensed medical professional (i.e. doctor, psychiatrist, nurse, psychologist, etc), nutritionist, dietician or your personal trainer. The reader is responsible for their own health and well-being.