Weight loss is a good thing but only in certain circumstances. You might start off wanting to shed extra pounds due to reasons such as health risks they pose, but it is not easy to see when it is becoming an obsession unless someone tells you or you notice changes in your behavior.
For instance, when the thought of losing weight occupies all your thoughts while you are awake, or you step on the weighing scale every few hours or every day hoping that it reads a lesser weight than before.
It can also begin to show when you obsessively begin to count calories in all the foods you eat, and your relationships begin to fray because of weight loss goals, you begin to obsess about being thin, and so on then you need to realize there is a problem.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
If you have experienced these thoughts or you know someone who does, make sure to read on.
1. It drastically affects your body image
Before you begin losing weight, it is important to start with your body image. After all, you cannot hate yourself yet have a body you love – it is the opposite of what you want to achieve, and it will not work. When you are obsessed with shedding weight, it will not matter how skinny you look in the end, you will be compromising your own mental health and emotional state, as well as your physical health.
When you process negative thoughts about yourself in your mind, you might think you are giving yourself some ‘tough love’ but the reality is that the body starts to trigger stress responses, which lead to storage of fat and having the opposite effect of what you wanted.
2. Compromises the weight loss process
Contrary to what you may think, the fat reserves in your body are far from being the last to go, especially when you are starving yourself. In fact, not eating increases the risk of regaining lost weight to a significant margin – and that will be in form of fat. That is because of the stress response in the first point.
Believe it or not, your body needs fat because it is the backup energy source when you fail to eat enough. It also helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently, and maintains the core temperature of the body. Therefore, you need to work on reducing your stress levels, exercise regularly, and eat healthily.
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3. Makes your workout sessions less enjoyable
If you enjoy doing workouts, then you do not need to read this point. Exercise is never meant to be stressful, contrary to what you may think it is meant to help the body improve its health and become stronger.
The more stressed you are because you are not losing weight at the rate you want, the more the body will treat exercise as a threat – which means it goes into flight mode. It will fail to produce the results you want because it is becoming stressed, making it store more fat and shut down. The more negative self-talk you have, the less you will achieve.
To counter this, consider incorporating restorative exercise such as walking or jogging, as they use the body’s movements more naturally and less stressfully.
4. Affects the health of your gut
The gut is considered as the ‘second brain’ or the body, so when it is unhealthy, it compromises the functioning of all organs in the digestive system. You can help it improve by consuming more fermented foods, which means you have higher energy levels. In addition, it is better able to remove toxins from your digestive system and boosts metabolism.
5. You begin to see foods in black and white
The more obsessed you are with shedding weight, the more you see food as your enemy, even if it is beneficial. Classic example: seeing all carbs as bad, while all vegetables are good. The more you use this thinking style, the more you will judge yourself by the food you eat, and it is giving food too much importance it should not even have.
Do your best to think of food as body fuel, and that all foods contain nutrients essential to the functioning of your body systems.
6. Cutting your food into bite-size pieces
Having food rituals is a danger sign that there is something wrong. By that, we mean you do not mix the food on your plate, you only use a baby spoon to eat (so that you eat less), you chew so many times before swallowing, you only eat bite-size pieces of food, and so on. if you are not eating healthy, the food rituals you do are a sign that there is something wrong with your approach because you are attempting to exert control – and you need to correct it.
7. Workouts take top priority
If the purpose of your workout is to promote a healthy lifestyle, then you will be flexible when any changes come up. However, developing a compulsive need means you struggle to maintain routines, and you begin to feel negative emotions when you have not gone to the gym – even if you have family obligations or you fell sick, or anything related to that.
8. You are checking out everyone around you
When you find yourself judging others based on their body types and shapes, there is something wrong – it can even extend to criticizing them for their food choices, like if they ordered ice cream instead of a salad.
While it is important to lose weight, it is also vital to be aware of your actions and not cross the line into unhealthy thoughts – that will only sabotage your efforts in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.