Weight loss is an important goal for many people for a variety of reasons. Some are focused on losing weight to boost their self-confidence, while others want to improve their overall well-being. This is because the benefits of weight loss include a decreased risk of joint pain, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Additionally, weight loss can improve sleep, lower blood sugar levels, and improve mobility for a better quality of life.
Now, taking the initiative to lose weight is reliant on your own individual efforts to make healthier choices, but your experience is still significantly influenced by those around you, for better and for worse. Here, we detail some of the ways society negatively affects your weight loss journey and the ways those can be mitigated by finding the right community of people to support you.
How Society Negatively Impacts Weight Loss
Pressure to conform with beauty standards
Generally, beauty standards refer to the specific set of physical traits that a culture or society perceives to be the most attractive. While the standards vary from culture to culture, National Geographic cites that the most dominant beauty standard today is having a thin but curvy body for women, while men should have toned builds and prominent muscles.
The pressure to conform impacts weight loss, as most people feel the need to spend more money, time, and effort to look good rather than be healthy. Additionally, these standards may lead to increased anxiety, low self-esteem, and a negative body image.
In line with the previous subheading, the pressure to conform also leads to weight discrimination against people who do not fit conventional beauty standards. Plus-size individuals are often subjected to stigmas surrounding weight and harmful stereotypes about their lifestyle.
Society has perpetuated the idea that people with bigger bodies are believed to be lazy, have low levels of intelligence, and are generally “lesser” than people with a lower body weight.
Besides resulting in low self-value and psychological distress, weight discrimination also limits the work and healthcare opportunities of plus-sized individuals, which significantly affects their quality of life.
Participation in Diet Culture
Mainstream culture has warped the idea of healthy eating, as diet culture runs rampant within different demographics. Diet culture refers to the cultural norm surrounding food and weight, reinforcing conventional beauty standards and promoting extreme control around eating to achieve a certain look.
Most diets involved in this unhealthy culture are not focused on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Rather, diet culture pushes the idea of food restriction to lose weight, leading to disordered eating, mental health difficulties, and a negative relationship with food overall.
The Positive Effects of Community for Weight Loss
Helps with Accountability and Encouragement
Weight loss is generally challenging, as it is affected by complex factors such as diet, physical activity, lifestyle, age, and genetics. Fortunately, being surrounded by the right people and\ finding your community helps keep you on track to meeting your goals. You can simply search “weight loss classes near me” on your device, and you’ll receive various options immediately.
These groups are often tailored to be a judgment-free zone where everyone can connect and encourage one another to lose weight healthily and sustainably.
Moreover, weight loss classes keep you accountable by having weekly check-ins to share progress and maintain the momentum of your journey. All this can be done in person or through video calls, making it an accessible way to connect with people no matter your circumstances.
Provides Valuable Tips and Advice
Besides accountability, a community is also a great resource for experience-based tips and advice to help you when you’re feeling stuck with your weight loss progress. With a community, you have a safe space where you can discuss your weight loss struggles and be met with empathy, especially if your peers have experienced the same thing before.
You can receive tips like what to do when you’ve hit a plateau, exercises for an extra challenge, or even supplementary habits like taking apple cider for weight loss. Having people who have your back not only eases the weight loss process but can also boost your confidence while pursuing your goals.
Extends Emotional Support
Emotional support for weight loss is important since it can motivate you to continue with your journey while also validating any complicated feelings you may have. This is why many who want to lose weight use weight loss counseling services to ensure their mindset is in a good place. That said, trusted family and friends can also offer counsel and comfort free of charge. Essentially, your community not only acknowledges your emotions but also empathizes with your struggles while celebrating your wins to keep you going.
Our blog post is a collaborative effort by the founders of More Natural Healing in conjunction with Editors of Renewed Health Alliance, and our board of advisors including doctors, herbalists, outdoor enthusiasts and experts in using natural products, herbs and supplements to enhance our daily lives. We only provide information that has been researched, validated, and vetted for our posts and includes validation from experts in the natural herbal community. A person of interest on this post is the talented writing of Rachel Jany. Rachel is a contributing writer and blogger for More Natural Healing & Renewed Health Alliance.