Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Are You Thinking Yourself Fat?

Is weight gain during the holidays really necessary? Consider this:

If you talk with people about the holiday season, they always talk about gaining weight. Interestingly enough, just about everybody cites 10 pounds.

When people talk like this, it reminds me of research that shows attitudes affect weight. In other words, what you THINK results in effects on the body! Here are people programming themselves to put on weight over just a few days! It is likely, since they believe it, that these people will indeed gain 10 pounds.

Physiological psychology has studied the dynamics of weight and body image. For example, it has been said by many overweight people that they eat no more than people of normal weight.  This of course, doesn’t seem logical. However, a research project was designed to examine this claim and it was accurate. In other words, the people who were extremely overweight DID NOT eat any more than their normal weight counterparts. In some instances, they ate a great deal less!

When I was growing up, I saw a perfect example of this phenomena. A family lived across the street from us. Every one of them were extremely thin. No matter what they ate, they were all extremely thin. Further research provides a possible answer.

To study the impact of calorie consumption on weight level, a research study paid one group of people to over eat by a very large amount and another group to eat what is classified as a starvation diet.  So the two experimental groups consisted of:  Group 1 – The participants were paid to over eat in the extreme. Group 2 – The participants were paid to exist on a starvation diet. The experiment lasted for a couple of months.

As to be expected, Group 1 gained a great deal of weight while Group 2 lost a great deal of weight during the experiment. After they were released, they were told to go back to eating as they normally did and asked to return for a followup checkup in two months. The results were interesting.

In a two month period of time, all the subjects from Group 1 and Group 2 were within 10 pounds of what they weighed when they started the experiment.  This means that everyone, whether in the over eating or starvation group adjusted their diet to return to the weight they were before the experiment. This was without a specific diet plan; it just happened.

Think about this for a moment. Perhaps it is not so extraordinary that the weight loss group gained weight back but what about the weight gain group? If you’ve ever gone on a diet, and who hasn’t, you know how hard it is to lose weight. You can starve yourself for a month and maybe lose two or three pounds. The weight gain group, when they returned to their normal routine, lost over 20 lbs in a couple of months without dieting as we know it.

The people had a specific view of their appearance which was drastically altered by the experiment; they became either too fat or too thin. When the experiment was over, they naturally returned themselves to how they felt they were suppose to look.  None of them followed a plan to do this; it just happened.

The only conclusion to be drawn from this result is that the weight gain group not only had to adjust their food consumption down, but had to raise their metabolism to have such a fast weight loss.  In other words, their mind turned up the metabolism to quickly return them to the body image they believed they were suppose to have!

So, you have to ask yourself the question, How does your attitude affect your weight?

  • Do you believe if you eat a certain food you will gain weight?
  • Do you believe that because your parents are overweight, you have to be as well?
  • Do you believe that as you get older, you naturally become overweight?
  • Do you believe it is hard to diet and lose weight?

Examine your views about weight. You are likely programming yourself to weigh more than you need to weigh because you believe you should. Do you view the holiday season as an automatic weight gain?

Take charge of your thoughts about weight. Start programming yourself in a positive way to have the body image that you really desire! Remember,  if you think thin, and believe it, your body will follow!

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