This is probably the best check-list of weight maintenance and “fat loss” advice I have come across! I urge you to take the time to read this, and critique yourself “honestly” on how well your doing!
This is straight from peer-reviewed obesity research journals, not from the pop fitness websites or the weekly gibberish trash magazines, so you can trust that this advice is solid, sound and true.
The data came from obesity researchers at the University of Surrey (UK). They didn’t conduct a new study, however – they did an exhaustive review of 152 other studies (Basically, the entire major research that’s ever been done on weight maintenance).
What I’ve tried to do is to summarise the most important weight maintenance factors for you (psychological traits and physical behaviours) and then translate that into a lesson or the “applied action” steps you need to take to succeed.
The more of these strategies you use, the more likely you’ll be not only to lose fat, but to keep it off for good. A person who is 13 for 13 (or even close to it) is simply NEVER going to have a weight problem.
In the words of the authors, tracking nutrients eaten, workouts performed, body weight change, progress achieved, and so on, are “cardinal behaviours of successful weight maintainers.” Maintainers monitor everything. They are journal, trackers, and counters. Remember, you can’t improve it if you’re not even measuring it. (Test and measure)! You cant wing success, it’s a strategy!
*Self-responsibility / Internal locus of control
People who attribute (blame) their body fat on medical conditions are LESS successful at maintenance. This is most likely because they don’t believe they’re in control of their results. A person with an internal locus of control believes that outcomes are under their own control. A person with an external locus of control believes outcomes are controlled by outside forces such as environment, genes or chance. High internal locus of control strongly predicts successful fat loss and long term maintenance. Its all about re-wiring the sub-conscious mind team! Think and you become it!
External motivation is helpful, but there is no motivation is better than, self-motivation. Research confirms that being SELF motivated predicts successful weight loss from both exercise and diet programs.
Self motivation vacillates a lot for most people and the research has found two major reasons why: (1) Small lapses in compliance cause a drop in motivation, and (2) self criticism causes a drop in motivation. Successful maintainers are kind to themselves, they avoid critical self-talk, and they understand that they are going to have lapses, they just get on with living. They realise this is for life, not a 12-week block!
Self-efficacy is the conviction (belief) that you can successfully execute the behaviour required to produce the results you want. Said differently, this is believing in yourself, and specifically, believing in your ability to follow the program (“I can do it” attitude). Again, if the “reason” you have to undertake this journey is strong enough, this is quite easy!
*Weight cycling (yo yo dieting)
Multiple previous attempts at weight loss followed by weight regain (yo- yo dieting) predicts poor success at future attempts. This may seem discouraging to chronic dieters, but the good news is that the research said this was only a correlation. If you’ve lost and regained many times, you CAN succeed. The key is that you must learn from past mistakes. You must have a driving desire to be better, find that “reason”!
*Nourish your body – don’t poison it
Proper nutrition (nourishment) is one the strongest predictors of weight loss and weight maintenance. Most experts consider diet the #1 key to success at the outset of a weight loss program. Though there are thousands of diet programs, the one thing the successful ones have in common is that the diet is high in nutrients but lower in energy content. Yes think plant based foods, colour, fibre, antioxidants, magic!
Most people now understand there are healthy and unhealthy fats, but because fat has the highest energy density, a common finding among maintainers is a low fat diet. Also, over and over again, studies associate higher fruit intake, higher vegetable intake and eating breakfast with better weight loss and maintenance.
*Exercise and the correct types!
Experts still argue about how important exercise is at the beginning of a weight loss program but it’s unanimous when it comes to maintenance – exercise is VITAL for keeping the weight off (to the point that you are almost doomed to gain back weight if you think you can be totally sedentary). Recent research has emphasised that it’s important to reduce sedentary behaviours, not just increase exercise. For successful maintenance, the activity and exercise also has to be something you can maintain as a lifestyle. You must enjoy it, a