Trying to shed pounds? FAMILY is to blame, scientists say

Losing weight may seem like an insurmountable task, but new research shows that our loved ones can make it harder for us.

According to British psychologists, friends and family may conspire to “sabotage” our efforts. lose weightintentionally or “unconsciously”.

Perhaps they do this by discouraging us from attending weight loss support groups or eating healthy, perhaps by tempting us with sugary treats.

Others may “colluge” with us to stay at home and watch a movie on the couch after work instead of going for a walk or going to the gym.

A new study follows a disturbing report that predicts by 2035 more than half of the world’s 8 billion people will be overweight.

Friends and family may conspire to

Friends and family may conspire to “sabotage” our weight loss efforts, although sometimes this is unintentional (file photo)

It was conducted by experts from the University of Surrey, who argue that “not all social support is useful” and can be more negative than positive.

The experts reviewed existing research and new primary data from 30 interviews to identify the negative social support someone might face when trying to lose weight.

From this, they were able to identify three main ways a friend, partner, or family member might get in the way of our weight loss journey: “sabotage,” “collusion,” and “feeding.”

Sabotage is “the active and deliberate violation of another person’s weight goals” that can include an excuse not to switch to a healthier diet, perhaps pointing out additional costs or saying that the food is not as tasty.

So-called “saboteurs” can also undermine our efforts to increase physical activity, perhaps by refusing to go on walks with us or emphasizing the cost of a gym membership.

Meanwhile, “collusion” is what study author Professor Jane Ogden describes as something “we do all the time throughout our lives” in the presence of loved ones.

“For example, a person doesn’t really want to eat well or do any exercise, or wants to go to their weight loss support group and says, ‘Oh, I don’t think I should go tonight,'” Professor Ogden said. MailOnline.

“A good friend or partner would say, ‘No, let’s go for a walk,’ whereas someone who is in cahoots would say, ‘Yes, that’s a good idea, let’s stay at home and watch a movie.’

“The partner agrees with this – so it’s kind of a way to avoid conflict.

“It’s something we do all the time throughout our lives – it’s absolutely simple friendship and how we make friends, but it’s not always better for someone else.”

Our partners may be

Our partners may be “colluding” with us so that we don’t exercise enough – perhaps not offering enough motivation to get off the couch and work out a bit (File Image)

Finally, eating behavior is overeating, even when we are not hungry or when we are trying to eat less.

Although the term is widely associated with a sexual fetishit can also be done in a non-sexual context.

Non-sexual motives for feeding may be to prevent food from going to waste, or even simply as an affectionate “family love” gesture, such as buying a sweet treat to show us that they care.

Often, the three types of “negative social support” are unintentional and people don’t realize the damage they are doing to their loved ones’ efforts to lose weight.

However, Professor Ogden said that some of them are knowingly and deliberately behaving the same way, perhaps because they don’t like the changes our weight loss goals bring about, or because they have their own insecurities.

“Losing weight often results in changes, from giving a person more self-confidence to changing the social dynamics in their relationship,” she said.

“Many do not welcome such changes and may consciously or subconsciously try to frustrate a person’s attempts to lose weight in order to leave everything as it is.

“If your partner starts to lose weight, it can make you feel insecure, as he may be looking for something else, he may get the attention of someone else, he may become more confident.

“And all of this can put a lot of stress on someone, so you might think, ‘If I can stop them from doing that, then we’ll be happy.’”

Lovers can be

Lovers can be “feeders” – a form of “fat fetishism” where someone takes pleasure in feeding their partner (file photo)

Professor Ogden emphasized that we should all be careful to offer our loved ones positive rather than negative support if they are trying to lose weight.

“If your partner is on a weight loss journey and you find it undermining, challenging or stressful, you need to watch, monitor yourself and see if what you’re doing supports them,” she told MailOnline.

“In terms of collusion, I think you have to be bolder in terms of being willing to accept that there will be conflict in the short term in order to do more good in the long term.

“It’s not about just going along with someone else – sometimes you have to say, ‘Wait a minute, you really should be eating this,’ or ‘Are you supposed to sit on the couch?’

“If you’re acting more like a saboteur because you’re trying to undermine them, then I think you need to think, ‘What’s in it for me and why am I doing this?’ If I love my partner as I say and think I do, then I should try to do what is right for him.”

New study published in the journal Current reports on obesity.