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Lose Weight and Don’t Stress About It

We’re regularly flooded with information on the importance of being slender.

“Being thin or losing weight is the No. 1 desire of most girls and women because it is associated with being in control, desirable and successful,” said Merryl Bear, director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC).

Despite decades of new nutritional information and diet advice, Canadians today are no thinner than in previous generations.
According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, research consistently shows only five to 10 per cent of people who lose weight by dieting manage to keep it off for more than a year.

Worse still, the report shows dieters are five times more likely to develop an eating disorder.

“It’s time to stop fear-mongering about those extra pounds, and to value ourselves differently,” said Bear.

According to the NEDIC website (, better health — and appearance — are often enjoyed by people who focus on being well-nourished, physically active and socially engaged.

The following are some suggestions to help you get there:

  • Acknowledge and appreciate what you have achieved in life, big and small.
  • Respect and value the natural diversity of human bodies, including your own.
  • Be physically active for the pleasure and health benefits it brings.
  • Engage in activities that make you feel joyful and purposeful.
  • Attend to your emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
  • Bring a sense of enjoyment to food preparation and eating.
  • Establish regular eating patterns and experiment with unfamiliar fruits and vegetables.
  • Feel comfortable eating when hungry and refusing food when not hungry, both in your home and others.

These time-honoured ways to respect and treat yourself well are a welcome change from all the taboos and punishments associated with over-focusing on weight, said Bear.

It’s never too late to start living well.