Research Urges Going Easy on Yourself

NY Times Health Reporter Tara Parker-Pope asks:
“Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family?
That simple question is the basis for a burgeoning new area of psychological research called self-compassion — how kindly people view themselves. People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising.” see article
For many of us who have once again made a new year resolution to lose weight, this self-compassion might make a difference. She states, “Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.”

And then there is the book connection:
“Dr. Neff, whose book, “Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind,” is being published next month by William Morrow, has developed a self-compassion scale: 26 statements meant to determine how often people are kind to themselves, and whether they recognize that ups and downs are simply part of life.”

But what is the evidence demonstration a connection between self-compassion, eating and weight loss?

The article references a research study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by Adams and Leary: Promoting Self-Compassionate Attitudes

Their study is based on were 84 female undergraduate students who received experimental credit for an undergraduate psychology course. Not exactly generalizable to the larger public.
The article is not an easy read–clearly, there is jargon that is specific to this academic field. There are also lots of statistics–but alas for the authors, there does not seem to be much of a relationship between self-compassion and eating.

Too good to be true, but it would sure be nice to lose weight just by having kind thoughts.

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