Sustainable Weight Loss: Is It Possible?

How do you lose weight AND keep it off?   This is really the issue, isn’t it?  Many of us go through ups and downs in life, and it’s not uncommon for our weight to follow suit.  While it’s true many people have difficulty keeping the weight off once it’s disappeared, there are systems you can put in place to sustain your progress.  After all, weight maintenance is a lifelong process not a one-time event.  Even if you’re not in a position right now to sustain weight loss, you may benefit from knowing what it is people do to both lose the weight and keep it off.  It’s all about what you do NOW that can begin to change your future.

MyGoal #004 illustration - Sustainable Exercise Blog PostFirst of all, research shows those who keep track of their behaviors are more likely to take weight off and keep it off.  This may include tracking your exercise, your meal plans, or even how often you eat.  Writing it down will help you see exactly what’s going on.  Start by choosing a target area – something that’s been giving you a hard time, or something you want to work on.  Is there a particular part of the day you find yourself snacking more?  Is exercise harder for you during certain times of the day or even certain times of the year?  Where exactly do you slip when you get off course?  Beginning to target certain areas like this can provide the awareness to move in the right direction.

What can you do today to set the foundation for sustainable results?

According to the National Weight Control Registry, a research study that includes people who have lost 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year,  there are several key behaviors of people who lose weight and keep it off.  They are as follows:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Decrease calorie and fat intake
  • Eat regular meals, including breakfast
  • Weigh in regularly
  • Don’t let small slips turn into large weight regain

Social support can help!  In a study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics regarding social support in an internet weight loss community,  Hwang et al. (2010) concluded the internet weight loss community played an important role in the participants’ weight loss efforts.  Positive reinforcement, motivation, and shared information are just a few of the online social support interactions, which can contribute to the weight loss efforts of a large public internet weight loss community.  Additionally, internet health communities offer the opportunities to share social support through the use of blogs (like this one!), chat rooms, and discussion forums.

If you don’t have the physical support you need in a friend, a trainer, or workout buddy, your new weight loss support group is just a click away!  Don’t try to go it alone.  Allowing people to help and support you can ease the stress of losing weight, and pave the way to sustainable results.

References:

Hwang, Kevin O., Ottenbacher, Allison J., Green, Angela P., Cannon-Diehl, M. Roseann, Richardson, Oneka, Bernstam, Elmer, and Thomas, Eric J. (2010).  Social Support in an Internet Weight Loss Community.  Int J Med Inform, 79(1), 5-13.  Retrieved February 5, 2015 from,

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060773/