couple-exercisingThe long-term statistics about maintained weight loss are grim. Consistently, people who lose a substantial amount of weight are likely to gain it back within a few years. What are the folks who lose weight and successfully keep it off doing differently? The answer is simple. Research shows that long-term adherence to an effective weight loss strategy is what increases the outcome of successful dieting efforts. [1] How can you do that? Here are a few tips.

1. Prepare Yourself for Success

Stock your kitchen with healthy organic foods so you only have the right options to begin with. Weight loss nutrition includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nonfat dairy, nuts, seeds, and fish or lean poultry. Plan meals in advance in order to avoid making unhealthy selections just because you are hungry and rushed. Make a shopping list so you enter the grocery store with a plan.

2. Eat Organic Fruits and Veggies

Those who keep the weight off typically eat more fruits and vegetables than dieters who have failed. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study examined the diets of 75,000 women over a ten-year period. Results showed that the more fruits and vegetables the women ate, the less likely they were to become obese.

3. Know Your Calories

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Everyone can give the nutritional label a quick glance and fast evaluation of strengths and weaknesses but do you know exactly, or even approximately, how many calories you consume on a daily basis? Part of weight loss involves a simple math equation. The calories you expend must be greater than the calories you consume. If output doesn’t exceed input, you won’t lose weight. If you’re not deliberately eating a set amount of calories, you may be accidentally eating too many.

It goes without saying that high calorie sodas and sugar-bomb snacks will sabotage your weight loss efforts. There is no healthy amount when it comes to this stuff and the best choice is to eliminate it from your diet and life entirely.

4. Get Support

Sticking to a plan is a lot easier when someone holds you accountable. Making changes with someone and providing mutual help and encouragement can be ultra helpful for the rough times. It’s a lot easier when you have someone with whom you can share your experiences. Do you have friends who want to lose weight? Family members? Colleagues? It doesn’t matter where you get support, as long as you have it. In fact, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston performed a study that examined the role an internet weight loss community had on its members. Researchers noted consistent communicative themes included testimonies, recognition for success, accountability, friendly competition, and humor. It was also noted that the online medium was convenient, relatively anonymous, and non-judgmental. The Internet weight loss community was found to play a positive and prominent role in the participant’s efforts. [2]

5. Stay Positive

Think positive thinking doesn’t help? Think again. The Health Industry Development Institute in Korea performed a study showing that improving cognitive and behavioral components can improve situations that contribute to weight gain. No surprise on the results with this one, researchers found that persons with the ability to focus on task and complete things for themselves were the most successful at resisting food temptations and improving the situations that support weight loss. [3]

6. Stay Aware!

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In a study involving subjects who had recently lost more than 10% of their body weight, the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University set out to determine what factors contributed to people maintaining their healthy weight verses regaining what they lost. Researchers found that whether or not participants maintained a healthy weight was reliant on if they continued the strategies they used during the initial weight loss efforts. Continuing the strategies was paramount to maintaining a healthy body weight. Important habits included weighing themselves, examining the issue from a problem-solving standpoint, and positive thinking. Those who regained the weight had trouble consistently exercising and eating health. They were less accountable and had low motivation. These findings underscore the absolute necessity for you to always be awake at the wheel and aware! Losing the weight and then reverting back to auto pilot will guarantee you put the weight right back on. [4]

7. Use Improving Your Body and Health as a Step to Improving Your Life

A Canadian study examined problems associated with confronting obesity, and there are many. Long-term efficacy of obesity treatments is poor, potentially due to the substantial barriers that undermine obesity management. Failing to recognize obesity as chronic is a huge problem and low socioeconomic status is common theme as well. This leads to time constraints, saboteurs, and a range of comorbidities. Furthermore, medications used to treat associated disorders may undermine weight-loss efforts. [5]

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

Source: 7 Habits for Weight Loss Success

References (5)
  1. Knäuper B, Cheema S, Rabiau M, Borten O. Self-set dieting rules: adherence and prediction of weight loss success. Appetite. 2005 Jun;44(3):283-8.
  2. Hwang KO, Ottenbacher AJ, Green AP, Cannon-Diehl MR, Richardson O, Bernstam EV, Thomas EJ. Social support in an Internet weight loss community. Int J Med Inform. 2010 Jan;79(1):5-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.10.003. Epub 2009 Nov 27.
  3. Shin H, Shin J, Liu PY, Dutton GR, Abood DA, Ilich JZ. Self-efficacy improves weight loss in overweight/obese postmenopausal women during a 6-month weight loss intervention. Nutr Res. 2011 Nov;31(11):822-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.09.022.
  4. Reyes NR, Oliver TL, Klotz AA, Lagrotte CA, Vander Veur SS, Virus A, Bailer BA, Foster GD. Similarities and differences between weight loss maintainers and regainers: a qualitative analysis. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Apr;112(4):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2011.11.014.
  5. Mauro M, Taylor V, Wharton S, Sharma AM. Barriers to obesity treatment. Eur J Intern Med. 2008 May;19(3):173-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2007.09.011. Epub 2007 Nov 19. Review.

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