Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Words Matter When You're 'Trying' to Lose Weight

Someone from one of my Medifast Facebook groups posted an interesting comment this morning describing herself as a food drunk when she eats to excess.
"People who drink too much alcohol are alcoholics....some call them drunks. I refuse to be a food drunk any more. The thought might not speak to anyone else, but it has done amazing things for me...if I think of eating something not on plan, I just say to myself, 'You are not a food drunk!'"
I loved the metaphor because there is nothing cool or glamorous about being drunk. Pigging out used to have a similar connotation and may still work for some people as a deterrent, but somehow it has become cute to be a little food pig. Maybe it has something to do with the recent popularity of bacon.

The point is, we have to find words that speak to us on what to do or not to do in the presence of food. Unlike alcohol, we cannot avoid being around food throughout the day; so we need to have word weapons to help us fend off the bad guys.

Health professionals have long known it is important to use the right words when discussing their patients' weight status. For instance, a 2011 British study found that women are turned off when a doctor tells them they are "obese," but they're motivated to lose weight if the doctor tells them they are "clinically obese." Being called obese may sound like a MYOB insult, but modifying it with the word "clinically" makes it a medical thing and, therefore, kosher for the doc to discuss.

And you don't need a study to know that calling a patient "fat" means she may never come back. In fact, some overweight friends have told me they avoid going to the doctor because they don't want to be told they are fat.

"Trying" is another word that can affect weight loss, as in "trying to lose weight." I know, because before doing Medifast I had "tried" to lose weight for five years. But then I found a plan I could easily follow and stopped trying. I just did it. As much as I may sometimes disagree with Dr. Laura, I love that she shuts callers down when they say they're going to "try" something because it means they will turn into a bowl of mush at the first obstacle. Conversely, when you commit to something, you don't let challenges and obstacles deter you from your goal. As my hypnotherapy instructor Katherine Zimmerman used to say, "Trying is lying."

Even the phrase "losing weight" is problematic since it implies you will find it again. Shedding pounds and melting fat seem more permanent.

A positive way to use words is to repeat mantras that remind you to stick to your plan. Though Kate Moss got in a lot of hot water for saying "Nothing tastes as great as skinny feels" (some people thought this encouraged eating disorders), many dieters and healthy weight maintainers find strength in these words. I have used this motivational quote myself when cupcakes or other treats were passed around at a meeting, and -- more often than not -- it has helped me tap into my will power and not partake.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for less cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Bars - ALL FLAVORS - You Choose ANY 20 Boxes

More from Diet Skeptic:

Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life

Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

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