What do you do when you’re surrounded by skinny people, and you’re labeled the social outcast? Is being chubby or overweight such a crime? The media will have you believe so.

In a time when thigh gaps, bikini bridges, belly button challenges, or the latest fad of thigh brows are flooding social media, is it any surprise that young women the world over, are willing to do anything just to be able to “fit in” (we mean those size zero dresses models usually wear)?

The fact remains, the obsession with weight loss can only stem from one place—the media. If you’re not skinny, there’s something wrong with youIf you’re too skinny, again, there’s something wrong with you. While this is definitely not true, this is the message young men and women are taking away, particularly when their every waking moment is governed by social media, and Instagram accounts of super-fit girls in bikinis sipping on “skinny bunny” teas or FitTea.

Would you believe that this lunacy isn’t exclusive to impressionable minds. Celebrities, too, have struggled with weighty issues. In fact, in a recent interview with The Hamilton Spectator, 39-year-old actor Diane Kruger has admitted to falling prey to what was the socially acceptable body type back in her modeling days. The National Treasure star was quoted as saying, “When I was younger, being beautiful meant being skinny. But when I turned 30, I realized how stupid I was for believing that.”

These are what lead to even bigger problems. When not spotted and stopped, these obsessions will give rise to a number of problems that can prove to be detrimental in the long run. From smoking to lose weight, starving, eating disorders, distorted body image and even over-training, here are five very real weight loss traps you shouldn’t get stuck in.

Smoking To Lose Weight

smoking to lose weight

Smoking To Lose Weight: Cigarette smoking is infamous for its association with cancer-related diseases, and yet, it is famous for its appetite suppressing qualities. In fact, many women prescribe to the caffeine and nicotine school of thought when they’re on a weight loss plan, simply to curb their impulse cravings and sustain their energy through the day, sans the food. The truth is, smoking is the absolute worst for those on an exercise plan, as it can seriously hinder your stamina, affect your breathing, and prevent a thorough flow of oxygen through the body.

Starving Or Skipping Meals To Lose Weight

starving to lose weight

Starving Or Skipping Meals To Lose Weight: Only recently a study was published that suggested eating less, but eating more often was the key to losing weight. And now, a research paper published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reiterates the theory, with one added fact—skipping meals in order to lose weight has shown to increase belly fat. The fact is, eating too little makes you gain weight instead, and if you’re trying to create a calorie-deficit by foregoing a meal altogether, you’re not only losing lean muscle mass and skin tone, but you’re also making your mid-section susceptible to accumulating and storing body fat.

Distorted Body Image

distorted body image

Distorted Body Image: If you’re an ardent E! News fan, chances are you’re well-versed with the latest celebrity hairdos, wardrobes, skincare regimes and fitness routines. And when it’s not television, following various celebrities on social media can trigger a kind of unrest in the minds of young women, and spark ridiculous notions of their not-so-perfect bodies, and how they should look. Despite the rising number of celebrities joining the fight to promote positive body image, and curb body shaming, a number of beauty and fashion magazines still choose to Photoshop and airbrush images of models, asserting that physical attractiveness is key to getting you noticed, or giving you whatever you want.

Overtraining

over training to lose weight

Overtraining: The fact that life today is rather fast-paced, there’s a good chance you’re spending hours at the gym in the hopes that you can accelerate your weight loss. Overtraining, quite like starving or skipping meals, will only undo all your progress. You muscles must tear in order to rebuild, but you also need to rest them sufficiently so that they function at full potential. Overtraining can lead to injury, which will most definitely mean a longer sabbatical from exercise.

Eating Disorders

eating disorders

Eating Disorders: With body image distortion on the rise, celebrities are coming forward with their own personal experiences to inspire a better lifestyle and instill confidence among their generation. The Pretty Little Liars actress Lucy Hale too, has now gone on record with Cosmopolitan, saying “I’ve never really talked about this, but I would go days without eating. Or maybe I’d have some fruit and then go to the gym for three hours. I knew I had a problem…It was a gradual process, but I changed myself”. These internet-gained diet advice can lead to bulimia, anorexia and other disorders that are really difficult to come out of.

PS: Here’s an exhaustive list of Diets For Weight Loss.
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