So You Want to Predict How Successful Your Weight Loss Quest Is?
Long ago, in a fairy tale world, bigger bodies were coveted and weight loss was a problem one dreaded dealing with, for very different reasons. A fuller body meant food on the table and a comfortable life, relatively stress free. The thinner you were, the more pity you inspired from your surroundings. It’s rather hilarious how the problem has become just the opposite in today’s modern world, where weight loss is encouraged at every turn and the thinner the body, the more desirable one seems to become. We are on a quest to shed every last pound we gain that can be considered extra and utterly unnecessary. Gyms and weight loss clinics are making the millions while the regular human race struggles to reach an ideal; struggle being the key word.
What’s the problem? Programs are only for a limited amount of time, focussing on helping you lose that weight but not always being as effective as they should be, nor helping you keep it off.
How can we predict if our current attempts at weight loss will be successful?
• Number of attempts: Research shows that the more attempts you have had in the past, the less likely you’ll be able to lose the desired amount of weight now. Ensure that each time you begin a program, you follow through for the long haul, without giving in to doubt and indulgence.
• Early success: Getting into the right routine from the beginning would lead to quicker loss of weight, much easier to keep off in the long run while increasing confidence in one’s self and ability to finish their quest.
• Expectations: The more reasonable your expectations, the better you will do. If you expect to lose 2 pounds a week and you have a whopping 4 at one point, it will only serve to encourage, rather than if you expect 4 and only manage to lose 1 that week, leading to great disappointments and high levels of discouragement.
• Depressive systemology: Those who suffer from any form of depression are less likely to see weight loss results and possibly may even see the reverse, due to the lack of desire to make changes in lifestyle to meet weight loss needs. To combat this vicious cycle, practitioners opt to provide support that focus on increased motivation, energy and concentration, allowing them to better treat the patients for their depression alongside the weight loss issues and needs. If you suffer from depression, see a doctor. It might help you balance your emotions and meet your goals more successfully.
• Social Support: Research shows that while social support as you start your weight loss journey is not particularly important, the difference it makes throughout your progression is immense. What will be the best social support program? Gather a group of like-minded people, even if it’s one or two others, and work together. You should be with people who share your struggles and who will rejoice in your successes, just as you will do so for theirs. If you have opted for a personal trainer or if you are in a situation that a care giver watches over your weight loss program and needs, make sure that they are providing you with autonomy more than they are controlling, thus increasing rates of success. A healthy relationship within the group or with care giver can make all the difference in getting you back on track.
Weight loss programs exist all around us. It’s up to each person to predict how successful they will be. Don’t do it alone! Research shows that having even a cheerleading team is enough to increase your chances of successfully shedding that unwanted weight. Though, if you tried this in the Middle Ages, someone might throw you into Bethlem…
Source: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (March 2013), 7 (2), pg. 115-117