Extreme measures women take to lose weight
When it comes to fulfilling that New Year's resolution to lose weight, some women are going to extreme measures to see the number on the scale go down.
Just 6% of women who were surveyed said they are happy with their bodies, a new study from the Montreal-based website Queendom.com has found. Another 31% said they were moderately content, while the majority, 62%, said they were unhappy.
The women who are unhappy don't just diet - the study found they turn to other weight-loss methods, such as using diuretics, laxatives, herbal weight-loss supplements and diet pills; or even forcing themselves to throw up or fasting and starving themselves.
Ilona Jerabek, the president of PsychTests AIM Inc., which runs Queendom.com, said women who are unhappy with their bodies are often battling other demons.
"Unhealthy eating habits aside, women who are unhappy with their body often find themselves struggling with problems like low self-esteem, lack of self-discipline, and the tendency to use food for comfort. If these underlying issues are not dealt with, it is unlikely that the physical habits are going to change," Jerabek said in a release about the results Monday.
"Women who are unhappy with their body are also more likely to be dealing with a host of other psychological issues."
The survey found women who are unhappy with their bodies are less self-motivated than women who are happy or moderately content with their bodies. Those unhappy with their bodies are less proactive, less likely to believe they have the ability to make changes, have a low tolerance for frustration and have a higher tendency to eat when emotional, or to feel guilty after eating unhealthy food.
Jerabek offered some tips to those wanting to lose weight. The top of her list is making sure to balance calories being eaten with calories being burned off by exercise.
As well, having healthy food at home will keep people from eating the high-calorie junk food, so keep things like dark chocolate, air-popped popcorn and baked chips on hand for cravings. It doesn't mean a person needs to give up their favourite food - just eat them less often.
She also recommends learning your body's cues for when you are really hungry. Take breaks during meals to wait to see if you are full, and slow down during meals.
As well, exercise does not have to be extreme. Starting small and gradually increasing exercise can help people obtain their goals better than those who burn out by trying to hit the gym every day.