It’s no secret that, if you need to lose weight, reaching your target weight can bring a confidence boost. But it’s important to acknowledge the psychological pitfalls that can arise along the way.
People who’ve lost a lot of weight, and kept it off, are almost universally praised in our society. Given how hard it can be to shed the pounds, anyone who has triumphed is held up as a worthy success story.
You only need to turn on the TV, or flick through a magazine, to see this kind of thinking in action. Especially at this time of year, we’re bombarded with adverts for diets or exercise programmes, featuring smiling, carefree, stylish people living life to the max. The implication is clear – lose weight from your body and you’ll take a weight off your mind as result.
How weight loss can boost mental health
The association between major weight loss and happiness isn’t entirely engineered by the media. As Sally Anne Turner, managing director of the medical weight loss clinic Bodyline, explains, many of her clients find the experience to be truly life changing.
“They often come into the clinic with very under-confident behaviours, but once they’ve lost the weight they’re a different person,” she says. “When people are feeling confident they can do anything – they change jobs, change how they dress – it’s a whole series of changes in their life.”
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