Feelin’ Good

Loving your body helps get rid of pounds

(RxWiki News) Having a boost of confidence in just about anything helps improve performance, and researchers found that it works the same for losing weight. More confidence means more weight lost.

Body image problems are common in individuals who are overweight or obese. Poor body image can actually limit the amount of weight lost, but researchers found that a slight improvement in the way you perceive yourself can help.

"Think positive about yourself to boost weight loss."

The year-long study included 239 overweight and obese women who were split into two groups. The control group received general health information, good nutrition, and stress management. The intervention group was asked to attend 30 weekly group sessions to talk about exercise, emotional eating, body image and methods to overcome personal barriers.

Lead researcher, Pedro J. Teixeira, Ph.D., from the Technical University of Lisbon, and colleagues from Bangor University found the women who participated in the behavioral intervention plan were able to feel better about their body shape and size, which led to more weight loss compared to those who did not participate in the intervention plan. The women who attended weekly group sessions lost on average seven percent of their starting weight, compared to only two percent in the other group.

Dr. Teixeira says that overweight or obese individuals who have body image problems are more likely to comfort themselves with food and have rigid eating patterns. These problems affect overall weight loss.

This study shows that when you feel good about yourself, forget about the opinions of others and eat better, then weight loss and maintenance can be achieved, Teixeira concludes.

The research is published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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Review Date: 
July 20, 2011