What’s the best way to lose weight? Don’t tell a soul that you’re trying to. Because letting the cat out of the bag can backfire.
The advice may seem counterintuitive. And a lot of weight-loss groups like Weight Watchers say support from friends and family is a major reason for the program’s success. But a growing number of experts say that telling family, friends and Facebook about your diet plans could keep you from reaching your goal.
Dr. Peter Gollwitzer is a psychology professor at New York University. He says studies show
that when you tell people about a physical appearance goal, like losing weight, odds are, the next time they see you, they’ll compliment you on it.
It sounds like a positive thing. But Dr. Gollwitzer says that the danger is that when you hear, “You look great." Your brain hears “You look good enough.” So, even if you’ve only lost 2 of your intended 20 pounds, it feels like you’ve achieved your goal, so you stop eating healthy and working out. Which is why a number of doctors and personal trainers are now telling dieters to zip it when it comes to their diet plans.
But, there’s a loophole to the “zip it” policy. Experts say if you feel like you absolutely need to spill the beans with someone, then tell your most brutally honest friend or family member. That way, they won’t say “You look terrific." Even if you haven’t lost a pound. Instead, they’ll hold you accountable, which studies show is a crucial factor in accomplishing any goal.