What Is Body Checking & Why It Is An Unhealthy Habit

Body checking has become a new obsession in the game of weight loss, but as beneficial as it may appear, it is actually a harmful habit many people are forming.

What is body checking? It is the way people are monitoring their weight loss instead of using a scale, which is also not the best habit to have when trying to shed those pounds. People will take pictures or selfies of themselves to show how much progress has been made on their fitness journey.


Those who use body checking as a way to keep track of their fitness progression often look at all parts of their body on a regular basis. Checking the size of your stomach, legs, arms, etc. regularly as well as obsessively taking measurements are symptoms of body checking. Comparing your body shape and size to others, plus focusing on how clothes feel can also be signs of the obsession.

Social media has also become a huge factor with the new craze. The constant fitness and selfie photos of people's bodies can cause a person to be self-conscious of their own body. Gene Beresin, M.D., executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital recently told Shape magazine that social media is the reason the topic is getting so much attention these days. Various studies have proven that social media can influence a person's perception of themselves and that is generally a negative impact.

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Despite fitness experts and influencers claiming that body checking is the best way to track weight loss progress, it is now becoming as alarming as checking the scale. For years now, those in the fitness world have claimed that weighing yourself is not the most accurate way to determine weight loss, especially if a person is building muscle. It can be harmful when a person steps on the scale too much because it can hinder progress.

So, how is it determined that body checking has become an obsession and is harmful as opposed to being used as a helpful weight loss tool? First and foremost, if it is taking away from other parts of a person's life. For example, if a person is so into body checking he or she ditches activates or begin to isolate themselves, there could be cause for alarm.

Beresin suggests people who think there is a problem ask a couple of questions to determine if body checking has become an obsession. Ask yourself, "could I be okay if these images or measurements showed something I didn't like consistently, and could I quit these habits and feel totally okay with myself?" The answers to those will help a person understand if there is cause for concern or not.

Via Verywell Fit

The good news is there are ways to break the dangerous cycle. Start by removing any item that is used in the body checking process, even a full-length mirror. The idea is to rid the house of anything that can trigger the obsession. Next, and probably one of the most helpful tricks, is to take a social media break. There is no doubt that Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are triggers for body image, so stop looking at them.

Deciding to change the habit is enormous. It means a person has realized that body checking is no longer healthy. In order to make a change, it does mean that people have to be open to challenging themselves to pay attention to what is going on with them. Knowledge and acceptance are half of the battle.

Remember that physical appearance does not define a person, this is a vital one. Beauty truly is within and has nothing to do with how you look on the outside. Some of the ugliest people in the world look gorgeous on the outside, but they are not at all. The way a person treats people, conducts themselves define people so much more than the way they look. It is easy to say but also remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If body checking has become a severe problem, do not hesitate to consult a professional. Whether it is for you or someone you love, there is never anything wrong with asking for help from those who know best. It is not always easy to tackle body obsession by oneself, so don't.

Body checking has become a new obsession and one that is starting to get out of control. There is nothing wrong with wanting to live a healthier lifestyle or even want to lose weight but do it carefully. Don't let it be the main focus of life.


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