I have to admit, living in the UK, I don’t know much about Khloe Kardashian, except that she’s one of those people who’s famous for being famous.
She’s recently lost 20 pounds of weight (1 stone 6 pounds / 9kg) in 20 days and this has been enough to get her some good press coverage.
But as far as I can see, weight loss “success” stories like these are a disaster for our society.
Why would I say this? Shouldn’t I be pleased that a 27 year old woman has managed to lose 20 pounds of weight in a few weeks? Isn’t she setting a good example and giving people hope?
Well, frankly, no.
“Dramatic” weight loss like this is often “short term” weight loss. Especially when you are in your 20s, it’s possible to lose weight very quickly, but keeping it off is the true test of a successful weight loss programme. Most people will struggle to maintain rapid weight loss. Indeed, for Khloe, it’s hard to bet that this will be a long term success.
Much of the press coverage has glorified the speed at which she has lost so much weight. This is really the wrong emphasis. Someone losing 20 pounds over a year (compared to a few weeks) and maintaining it for several years is much more impressive, but of course it doesn’t make a very good news story.
And this kind of story affects all of us, in terms of our perceptions of what a good level and speed of weight loss is. On a conscious level, we might hear a story like this and dismiss it as unrealistic and unsustainable but on a subtle unconscious level, it’s hard not to hear these stories and have it affect your perceptions.
This is most apparent when people are trying to lose weight. A woman in her fifties might lose two pounds over a few weeks. This might be a great accomplishment (especially if their weight had been increasing prior to this) but most women would feel like it was too little and too slow. Why? Because they have been affected by stories of people losing weight much quicker.
And for women trying to lose weight without help, a feeling of not having achieved results fast enough, can be the trigger to give up their weight loss attempt altogether.
So it could be argued that a celebrity losing weight really quickly might be good news for them (and even that’s doubtful in the long run) but it’s definitely bad news for the rest of us.
Dr. Khandee Ahnaimugan (Dr. K) is a medical doctor, weight loss expert and author of the best-selling book, “Slim and Healthy without Dieting”. He provides individual consulting programmes for people wanting to lose weight without dieting. Try his 7 Day “How to Lose Weight without Dieting” Email Course for FREE at www.doctorkweightloss.com