Happiness May Hinder Weight LossPosted on Oct 6th 2009 5:00PM by Ashley Neglia
Having a glass half-full attitude may be hampering your weight loss. Optimism is generally regarded as a good thing, but when it comes to dieting, research shows that having an overly happy-go-lucky outlook on life can negatively affect weight loss success.
A Japanese study published in the journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine found that people who are happy are less likely to successfully lose weight compared to those who have a slightly negative and cautious outlook. Researchers conducted psychological profiles of 101 obese men and women who participated in a six-month weight loss program. Those who started out the program with a slightly negative outlook showed more weight loss success than those who were more optimistic.
While the study didn't find that being happy means you're doomed to see the scale remain stagnant, it does point out that being too optimistic can have its downfall. Essentially, having a sanguine attitude can help control negative emotion, but it can also cause people to give in to temptation because they believe everything will work out.
On the other hand, being too negative and having a poor body image can be just as defeating as a positive, laissez-faire attitude. "If you're beating yourself up all the time [about your weight and health], you're just going to bury yourself," says Binks.
So what's the answer? Pragmatic optimism. "You want to be realistically concerned about your health and your body shape," says Binks. Being honest about where you stand in terms of your weight and health compared to where you want to be is the first step in achieving a healthier you. Ignorance is not bliss and berating yourself if you're unhappy with the way you look and feel isn't the answer either. No body is perfect, but honesty and self-awareness can go a long way if you really want to improve how you look and feel.
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