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Four things I read today about weight loss that made me think

Thing 1. The Dangers of the Appearance-Driven Diet

Researchers from the Netherlands published a study in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that suggested that focusing on appearance could affect a person’s sensitivity to their internal satiety cues.

“We found that focusing on how you look may hinder how you listen to your body’s hunger fullness cues and how you adjust your food intake,” said Evelien van de Veer, the paper’s lead author.

Makes sense to me. We’re in favour of athletic rather than aesthetic goals, about what our bodies can do, rather than what they look like.

Thing 2. Things you might not know about fat loss

Most of our readers engage in a distinctive combination of cardiovascular conditioning and resistance training; as such, it places an incredible strain on both your central nervous and musculoskeletal systems. While acute bouts of stress are necessary to trigger positive adaptations, chronic metabolic stress kills progress as it relates to body composition. As an athlete, you are infinitely better off keeping your Calories higher so you have the materials and energy necessary to recover from your training, especially when you first start off. Don’t fall into the trap of eating chicken and broccoli every day because conventional wisdom says it’s “healthy”.

I’m interested in this because I’ve been thinking lots about difficult it is to lose weight and the assumption that you can just achieve that goal by moving more and eating less.

Thing 3. Social embeddedness in an online weight management programme is linked to greater weight loss

The obesity epidemic is heightening chronic disease risk globally. Online weight management (OWM) communities could potentially promote weight loss among large numbers of people at low cost. Because little is known about the impact of these online communities, we examined the relationship between individual and social network variables, and weight loss in a large, international OWM programme.

Take note Precision Nutrition folks. Online friendships help!

Thing 4.  A memory trick to lose weight

Dieters often feel that they are waging war with their stomachs, but psychologists like Robinson believe that appetite is formed as much in the mind as our guts. So much so that if you try to remember the last food you’ve eaten, thinks Robinson, you can get thinner without the hunger pangs.

“Lots of research has now shown that subtle psychological factors can impact how much you eat – but people still aren’t aware of the influence,” he says. “And that’s important, given the worldwide obesity problem.” If this is true, how could it work?

I’m curious about the limits of intuitive eating about whether there are different ways of responding to hunger cues.
Lots to read out there and lots to think about!

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