"I really need to lose weight!" you think. But do you really need to? There are times when losing weight may be unnecessary, or even unsafe. Many women convince themselves that they're overweight when they're not, or go on a diet at a time when it's really not appropriate. So if you fall into any of these categories, think again about wanting to lose weight …
1. You're Pregnant or Have Recently Given Birth
Although you don't want to gain too much weight when you're pregnant, it's definitely not a time to diet. Aim to eat a healthy diet that will give you enough calories to nurture your growing baby. And when you give birth, don't rush to lose your baby weight, especially if you're breastfeeding. It took time to gain the weight, so you should lose it slowly as well.
2. You've Been Ill
You may lose weight without trying if you've been ill. But it's not a good time to try to lose weight, as you need all your energy to get back to good health. Going on a diet will only suck out your energy and make you feel weak. Save the diets for later, and concentrate on building up your strength.
3. You Want to Fit into a Special Outfit or Wedding Dress
How many brides-to-be pick a dress that's too small, hoping to slim down in time for the wedding? Instead of buying a dress and hoping to slim into it, buy a dress that fits and flatters you. There's no sense in putting extra pressure on yourself and panicking if you don't lose the weight quickly enough.
4. Your Partner is Pushing You
Are you trying to lose weight because your partner tells you that you need to slim down? If they're encouraging you to lose weight because you need to for the sake of your health, that's understandable. But if they're telling you you're fat and ugly, then they're bullying you. You should lose weight if it's better for your health, not because someone else is criticising you.
5. You're Trying to Emulate Someone else
Do you want to lose weight so that you can look more like your friend/sister/a celebrity? This is poor motivation for losing weight, because it sets up unrealistic aspirations. You are not someone else, you are yourself, and there's nothing wrong with that. Learn to be happy in yourself, and appreciate your own looks.
6. You Want to Achieve a Model Figure
Stop right there. Models are generally not a good role model. They may not eat healthily and also promote an unrealistic idea of what women should be like. We're not all meant to be that slender. Be yourself, instead of trying to copy someone else's look; you can't look exactly like someone else, so you'll only be making yourself unhappy when you can't achieve the look you want.
7. You Think You'll Be Happier
Finally, if you want to lose weight because you think you'll be a happier person, you're probably wrong. There are plenty of people who found that being slimmer isn't everything they thought it would be. Happiness comes from being content within yourself, not from achieving your 'ideal' weight.
If you do lose weight, it should be for the sake of your health and done with a sensible approach. Take it slowly, and aim for a healthy weight. What do you think are 'good' reasons to lose weight?