Generally, the problem with weight loss is not the means of losing the weight. It is keeping the weight off. There are so many ideas out there on how to lose weight, so many strategies on getting those last ten pounds especially off your stomach, but very little on how to keep the weight off for good. In this article, I would like to share with you some tips that are very useful in this regard.
#1 LEARN HOW TO MANAGE STRESS
Let’s assume you have decided to lose 15 pounds in six months. That is a very realistic and measurable goal. Doing cardio and eating bowls of salads everyday should NOT be your next step. You need to identify the things that stress you everyday. Once you identify these things, you need to create strategies to manage them.
A 2014 study from the University of Kentucky has suggested that when it comes to weight-loss success, what you eat may not be as important as what’s eating you. Kelly Webber, a associate professor in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, “found that participants in the stress management intervention lost as much as 17 pounds during the time period and, on average, saw a significant decrease in blood pressure. On average, participants in the intuitive eating intervention did not lose a significant amount of weight or have a decline in blood pressure. The weight loss results held true in a 14-week follow-up.” http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/uk-researcher-finds-stress-management-may-contribute-weight-loss
The kind of diet you decide to follow is part of your stress management strategies. This is because the type of food you eat greatly influences your mood during the day and influences the quality of your sleep. The type of exercise and the amount of it also has a great impact on your stress level. Therefore, take time to decide on the kind of food and exercise lifestyle you plan to follow.
#2 HAVE SOMEONE HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Whenever you tell someone else you plan on doing something in particular, you tend to be consistent in completing that task than when you just keep your plans to yourself. Consistency is that secret ingredient that drives success regardless of daily challenges. Merriam Webster defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”
Researchers from The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, R.I., conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to determine the impact of health coaches, peer coaches and mentors on a group of 44 obese participants.
After 24 weeks, all three groups had lost a significant amount of weight, but those who worked with a professional health coach or a peer lost an average of more than 9 percent of their total body weight (compared to 6 percent of those who worked with a mentor), and at least half of were able to lose 10 percent or more of their body weight.
This doesn’t mean you have to go out and hire a health coach in order to stay consistent. You can join one of those weight loss groups on social media, sign up for a weight loss challenge or get your friends together for weekly walks in the park.
#3 ALWAYS REVISIT YOUR ‘WHY’
In your weight loss journey, you will have those times when you totally lack motivation to eat healthy, to exercise or just to have the right mindset to achieve. Maybe you get to a point where you have not lost a single pound in two weeks, or you suffer a minor injury during one of your workouts. How do you get back on track? Understand that people decide to lose weight for different reasons. Some people decided to start losing weight because of health concerns. Others decided to make a commitment to change because they did not like the way their stomach looked in the mirror or the way their clothes were fitting. Yet others made the change because of a job or career requirement to be a certain size. People don’t just get up one day and decide to start losing weight. There is always a reason.
At the low points where you lack motivation, you have to revisit your ‘why’. The reason why you began this journey in the first place. This action should take you back to being consistent again.
Good luck on your journey.
WLS, FNS (NASM)