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Do Baggy Clothes Cause Weight Gain?

In his book Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink relays a story about a particular Midwestern jail, where the sheriff noticed an interesting trend: the inmates would gain 20 – 25 pounds during their 6 month stay.

While this weight gain could be attributed to a number of factors, it was unlikely to be the food (prison food isn’t known as a culinary delight!) The additional pounds also couldn’t be blamed on lack of exercise (the inmates had full access to exercise facilities) or loneliness (daily visitors were allowed.)

When asked, the prisoners had only one culprit to blame: the baggy orange jumpsuits they were made to wear. The jumpsuits were so loose fitting, the inmate wasn’t aware of his progressive weight gain.

Weight gain can often have a “creeping” effect. No one is fat overnight. And while a scale can be your best friend or worst enemy, most people notice weight gain or loss by the fit of their clothes or other external factors. Conversely, weight loss can creep, too.

Here are some other ways people know they’ve lost weight (recent survey in Mindless Eating):

“When my jeans feel comfortable again.”

“When I have to start wearing a belt.”

“When I suck in my stomach and I see some definition.”

“When I don’t get tired walking up two flights of stairs to my office.”

“When I see my cheekbones.”

“When I don’t have to inhale to button my pants.”
“When friends or colleagues ask me if I’ve lost weight.”

What are your indicators? And what “baggy orange jumpsuit” do you have lurking in your closet that seems to almost encourage weight gain? (You know–the clothes that don’t pinch when you overeat!) It might be worth a little investigation!

Learn more about 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now.