Is this most horrible side effect of weight loss? 72



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Have you ever taken a weight loss challenge and committed yourself to shedding the kilos? If you have, then did you notice this – the slow isolation that comes as a result? Studies have found that as we lose weight we are more likely to lose our friends and support networks making it a very lonely adventure.

Stanford University, Texas University and Peking University (in China) have come together to analyse how members of a Weight Watchers group behaved and take a better look at their social trends.

The Daily Mail reports that the study found that participants are very supportive of each other at the start, however as they lose more weight and become thinner, they get competitive with other people who are also slim or in the process of slimming.

Instead of sharing advice like diet tips, meal plans and exercise routines they began to keep information to themselves rather than share them in group discussions.

This is because as we gain more confidence we also become more competitive. As we lose more weight, we feel that we no longer need the support of those around us like we did at the beginning of our weight loss journey and so we turn away from them. Naturally, becoming selfish, distant and reclusive.

It’s a scary thing that as some of us go through one of the most life-changing and difficult times, we’ll push away those who love and support us. Just thinking about it, I have at least three friends who also become self-focussed and withdrawn as they lost weight and sadly it changed our friendships forever.

So today tell us, have you seen this side effect in action? Has it happened to you or perhaps your friends and family members? Share your stories in the comments below… 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I had a friend who lost a lot of weight , she was always the laughing chubby girl that everyone loved, when I look back now I can’t blame her, she was like a butterfly and she was stunning after she lost the weight. But she became so absorbed in it all she was more worried about her looks than laughing, we were a group of friend and she drifted from us, I hope her life turned out well

  2. well written…I find this article so true… sure happens….have seen it among heaps of friends…

  3. No. I have lost about 14 kg and kept it off for 2 years now and I am more than happy to tell anyone how i did it. My goal is to get to 60kg I have about 4kg to go and i am determined to make it. The people at the gym i attend are marvelous.

    1 REPLY
  4. Its been a human trend for all time. It is how we populated the Earth because we have been trying to get away from each other. Humans do not like to be told they are wrong. Yet, sadly, there’s always someone standing up telling us we are! Its been the fuel for power and the pursuit of money. So I’m off to find the peace that I need. Poor but happy!

  5. I have lost 20kg in just over a year. I still have my friends and I don’t mind sharing with them or others how I did it. I got to this point with their continued support. I am getting my self confidence back, I still have my sense of humour and I am still me.

  6. I find I lose friends when I lose weight. Not because I become self absorbed; but because they don’t seem to understand how important the weight loss is to me.
    They say things like:-
    One piece of cake won’t hurt you; or
    What’s wrong with having a cuppacino; or
    A couple of chips with that salad will be okay; etc.
    So I just stop going out with them.
    I have lost 15kgs and still have another 30kgs to lose.
    It’s hard enough without having people always trying to thwart your efforts.

    3 REPLY
    • You go, girl! Great job losing the weight! Forget about the people that are naysayers….you will enjoy much better health…I know…I’m on the same journey.

    • They are not helping you at all in what is important to you,so you have to wonder about their sincerity.

  7. If your losing friends due to your weightloss, ask yourself.. Are they REAL friends? Real friends are happy and supportive of whatever you do. My suggestion is find yourself like minded friends. Also fat ‘so called’ friends often say things like ‘one won’t hurt’ etc. If you give in and have that ‘one little bit’ it gives them a licence to eat as well and makes them feel ok about their poor choice. I lost 20kgs 40 years ago and still have it off, and have been there done that! I have fantastic overweight and slim friends. You have the choice to associate with whoever you choose but also don’t be a ‘pain’ about whatever you are doing as friends may become sick of hearing it. Remember ‘bad associations spoil useful habits!’ This applies in whatever we do.

    1 REPLY
    • This is about the person who loses the weight who dumps their friends.

  8. well now, isn’t that interesting. I have battled with my weight for my entire life. When I have lost significant amounts in the past, I have noted there are some people who have not said a word. Curiously these same people never seem to miss mentioning it if I am gaining weight. In my experience it is other people who change their attitude to you. Are you supporting your friends during weight loss, or are you a tiny bit jealous of their success?

  9. Great article ☺️I’m dieting have lost just over 12kilos long way to go but I havnt come across that with my friends they are all so supportive so I guess they weren’t there best friends

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