A review study directed by researchers at UCLA and published in the American Psychologist journal found that the vast majority of diets do not work. In most cases, the researchers discovered that people who attempt to diet not only do not lose much weight but very few keep the weight off. Even worse, many of the people who lost weight eventually gained back more weight than they had lost initially.
Those are depressing findings aren’t they? What can you do to make yourself be one of the ones who succeeds at weight loss and at weight maintenance?
The truth is that there is no one path to successful weight loss. However, there are behaviors that have been proven to help you lose weight and if you continue those behaviors after you reach your goal weight, you can maintain your weight loss.
As many of you interested in weight loss know, the National Weight Control Registry tracks thousands of people who have successfully lost and maintained weight. The criteria for membership is having lost at least 30 pounds and having maintained it for at least one year. Every year they send members a survey that asks about eating, exercise, and lifestyle behaviors. I’ve filled out several of those surveys because I am a member of the registry.
Looking at what worked for other people is a valuable tool, especially if those people have achieved long term success. This is especially important when you think about our tendency to fall all over ourselves praising celebrities like Valerie Bertinelli or Kristie Alley who lost weight using popular diet programs but quickly gained the weight back.
You need to emulate real people who have found what works.
So, what do those real people do that works? I’ve put together a list of 10 behaviors that successful losers use to lose and maintain weight. I hope it will help you formulate a diet plan that can help you through your own personal journey.
10 Weight Loss Behaviors to Copy
1. Make a Change in Their Diet
If your eating habits were causing you to gain weight, it makes sense that changing them is important. You need to do things differently to lose weight rather it is eating healthier, reducing portions, or doing a 180 from where you are today.
2. Eat Breakfast
Most dieters who successfully lost and maintained weight eat breakfast every morning. You don’t have to eat a lot, but eating something before your lunch meal can make a difference.
3. Exercise Consistently
Exercise doesn’t cause weight loss all by itself, but it is a valuable tool in the weight loss process. Not only does it burn calories and burn muscle, but exercising is good for you mentally.
4. Watch Little Television
The National Weight Control Registry participants watch less than 10 hours of television a week, on average. It makes sense that the more active you are the less time you have to sit around watching television. Personally, I definitely watch less than 10 hours of television a week. I usually average about 2 to 3 hours each week.
5. Weigh At Least Once a Week
Weighing at least once a week helps you stay accountable and puts you in good company. Almost 80 percent of the weight loss registry members weigh at least one time a week. I am a fan of daily weigh-ins.
6. Don’t Fall for Fads
Fad diets are designed for failure. They just are. If you want to lose weight and keep it off avoid jumping on the fad bandwagon whether it be a celery diet, a cleansing diet, or any other kind of diet your logical mind tells you is a fad.
7. Live a Balanced Life
Living a balanced life helps you keep things in perspective. Getting so caught up in the weight loss process that you avoid social get togethers, talk only about weight loss, or exercise to the extreme will do you no good in the long run.
8. Have a Support System
You do not have to join a weight loss group, but people who have a good support system tend to be more successful than people who try to go it completely alone
9. Catch Slip-Ups Before They Get Serious
It’s important to catch your slip-ups such as gaining a few pounds or skipping your exercise for no reason before they get serious. It’s a lot easier to lose 3 to 5 pounds you’ve put back on than 10 to 15 pounds.
10. Always Stay Diligent
It may seem tiring, but staying diligent is necessary for successful weight loss and maintenance. It is very easy to slip back into old habits, let the pounds creep up, and spiral out of control.
I hope this list helps you in your journey. I’d love for you to share it with your friends, on Facebook, Pinterest, or any other place you can think of. Diane