Nutrition experts agree that the foundation of healthy weight loss involves a well balanced, calorie restricted diet and physical activity on most days of the week. Beyond these essential underpinnings are the motivational and psychological aspects of weight reduction which can mean the difference between success and failure.
Recent research released from The Journal of Medical Internet Research indicates that people who have lost weight were more than twice as likely to keep the weight off if they kept track of their progress using an online recording system.
This is consistent with studies demonstrating that people lose weight more consistently and faster when they keep a dairy to record all foods eaten each day. Aside from diet and exercise, there are several important steps to help motivate your mind and hit your ideal weight target.
Step 1: The Power of Motivation to Lose Weight
People are much more likely to achieve and maintain their weight loss goal when they're motivated by others. Losing weight significantly reduces the risk of sudden death from a heart attack, diabetes, stroke, dementia and many cancers, yet many people never attain or maintain their weight goal. The motivation provided by a friend or family member is the missing key to weight loss success for many.
Before beginning your weight loss journey, find somebody who will be able to encourage you when you hit the inevitable low point or plateau in your quest. The encouragement they'll provide is invaluable, providing the strength and psychological boost to continue toward success. Interestingly, researchers have found that people who are financially incentivized to lose weight achieve a 70% success rate, making money a powerful source of motivation.
Step 2: Eat It, Track It and Don't Cheat
Keeping a food dairy is a proven method that leads to permanent weight loss. When you record everything you eat, you'll quickly find that most meals tip the scales at nearly twice the number of calories than you really need. Use a smaller 9" plate and you'll automatically eat 40% less without even noticing the difference.
Since many tracking programs break down fat, carb and protein ratios, you'll find that highly refined carbs are blocking your road to success, as they cause wild blood sugar surges which tip your metabolism toward fat storage. Be honest with yourself by measuring and weighing foods, and enter them to your log either before or immediately after eating.
Step 3: Set a Food Clock
Working on the knowledge that it takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you begin eating until your brain registers the full signal, set a 20 minute food clock as you begin each meal. The idea is to eat slowly, chewing each bite so you can savor and enjoy the flavors of your food. If you hit the 20 minute mark and haven't finished, then it's time to stop.
While proper diet and sufficient exercise are an essential part of a successful weight loss plan, it's also important to incorporate the resources of mind and motivation. Solicit the help of someone who can motivate you, providing encouragement when you stray off track, and use a menu diary and food clock. Get your mind in the game and you'll find the added support you need to hit your ultimate weight loss goal, and keep it off for life.