Lying About Your Weight May Hinder Weight Loss

Everyone has that one friend who refuses to tell us her actual dress size and insists she weighs 20 pounds less than she does. While some might believe that a person’s weight or size is no one’s business but her own, this behavior has the potential to hider a person’s ability to lose weight.

Some medical experts believe that if a person is trying to shed pounds, honesty is the best policy and accountability is crucial weight loss success.

“If someone is not acknowledging the problem, they will see no reason to address it or make a change,” said  Jackie Odom, Ph.D., director of psychology, Beaumont Weight Control Center in Royal Oak, MI. “To be successful at weight management, one must admit that there is a problem and take appropriate action to change.”

While there is certainly a difference between admitting a problem to yourself and admitting a problem to others, Dr. Tim Harlan, M.D., of says that individuals who seek the social support of weight loss groups, fitness centers or a “buddy system” for accountability have a higher rate of weight loss success.

“There is a reason that Weight Watchers has been successful for as long as it has,” Harlan said. “It combines public accountability with writing down your daily menu in a food journal – another tactic that is highly successful among dieters.”

When it comes to dieting, relying on a group for weight loss support can be extremely helpful. With the internet providing endless resources such as message boards, forums and blogs that help support readers in their weight loss endeavors, it can be easy to find a support group that fits your comfort zone.

“People who are extremely overweight tend to withdraw and often feel very alone and lonely,” said Odom. “It is critical to have a support system in place that is empowering and can help strengthen commitment and motivation.  We all need to feel understood and accepted for who we are regardless of whether we’re [gaining or losing] pounds.”

Dieters: have you ever lied about your size? If so, do you think it helped or hurt your weight loss efforts?

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