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The Curse of "Phantom Fat"

When people get in shape and drop pounds, they can see the number on the scale go down, but they can’t always wrap their head around it. In fact, according to new research, some people who lose dramatic amounts of weight still think of themselves as being their former size, avoiding small chairs and other previously uncomfortable situations. This sensation is called “phantom fat” by researchers.

Women especially seem to suffer from this, say body-image experts, because many discover that despite their weight-loss, they still aren’t “perfect.” Too often successful weight-loss cases expect to look like a swimsuit model in a magazine, and are disappointed when that’s not the case, researchers say.