Weight Loss and Workout Motivation
Reasons You're Destined for Weight Loss Success
What’s Your Weight Loss Secret Weapon?
The Team Player
The Easily Embarrassed
The Morning Person
The Bargain Hunter
The Tree Hugger
As if she needs one more thing to smile about, Susie Sunshine may have an easier time slimming down compared with Debbie Downer.
Optimists, those who expect good things to happen, report lower BMIs, according to an 8-year University of Pittsburgh study of 100,000 women ages 50 and older. Cynics, on the other hand, were less likely to exercise.
“There’s a link between depression and weight gain,” Grotto says. “And there are chemical changes involved in thinking more positively.”
In a recent study published in General Hospital Psychiatry, 203 middle-age women with an average BMI of 38.3 were divided into two groups. One group focused on weight loss efforts alone, while the other was coached on weight loss and depression management techniques.
After 6 months, 38 percent of women whose depression scores improved had lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. Of participants who reported no change in their gloomy moods, only 21 percent lost a comparable amount of weight.
Here’s how cheering up can help you slim down: “Don’t dwell on past failures and set realistic goals,” Dr. Grotto says. “Also, don’t rely on the scale,” he adds, explaining that for many of his patients, extra weight is often just water retention.
Baron-Reid also suggests this trick used by professional athletes: Visualize the goal—and picture yourself achieving it. At the same time, adopt a positive mantra, like “I love to exercise” versus “I need to exercise because I am fat,” she says.