If you are overweight and planning to lose a few kilos in the New Year, first shed harmful attitudes about your body as feeling bad about yourself does not actually motivate a person to pursue healthy behaviour, suggests new research.The researchers pointed out that over the years, the ideal body type, particularly depicted in media images, has become virtually unattainable for most people, leading to development of critical thoughts about their body.“There’s a big gap between what we’re shown as being ideal and what to aspire to and where we actually are as a population,” said Pamela Keel, Professor at Florida State University in the US. “That leaves people feeling bad about themselves, and, unfortunately, feeling bad about your body does not actually motivate a person to pursue healthy behaviour,” she added in a statement released by the university.
The research team tested a new programme encouraging body acceptance and seen dramatic results. The programme was designed to reduce the risk of eating disorders and poor body image. One exercise called mirror-exposure may initially feel uncomfortable, but it directs a person to stand in front of a full-length mirror in little or no clothing and identify specific body traits that are good.
The praise might focus on the body’s function. “You would say, ‘I really appreciate the way my legs take me wherever I need to go,’” Keel said.