Losing Weight for Good
Snack on Self-Esteem
Your mental approach to losing weight is just as important as your diet and exercise plan: If you believe you can succeed, you will. “Attitude is everything,” says Cindy Allison,* a 45-year-old mother of two who was able to lose more than 100 pounds.
Research supports the role of a positive attitude in weight loss. A 1996 University of Maryland study compared “believers” (who thought they could lose weight) with “disbelievers” (who did not believe they could). After nine months, believers lost 30% more weight.
“During your first 30 days, don’t judge yourself,” explains Joujon-Roche. You can build a better attitude by turning the negative statements into positive ones. Instead of saying “I can’t lose weight because it’s too hard,” try “I’m worth the effort and I will reach my goal.”
Weight Loss Shortcuts?
According to the University of Connecticut in Storrs, 65% of diet pill users think that a pill can help them lose weight. But don’t believe the hype; most diet pills are not regulated by the government, and they often have unpleasant side effects (like jitteriness or oily stools). With diet pills and other shortcut strategies, people inevitably regain weight unless they make significant lifestyle changes.
For men and women needing to lose at least 80 pounds (particularly if other serious weight-related health issues like type 2 diabetes or heart disease are present) weight loss surgery may be a viable option. Margaret Furtado, R.D., of the Massachusetts General Weight Center, a medical and surgical weight loss center in Boston, notes that surgery becomes an option only when other strategies have failed multiple times. You can learn more about these procedures through the National Institutes of Health.
It’s a great accomplishment to start losing weight, but this may only be the beginning. The most elusive aspect of weight loss is maintaining that motivation.
“Having people listen to you, not sabotage you but give you positive reinforcement when you’re making lifestyle changes can help rev you up and help you win at weight loss,” said Zied.
Personal motivation can also be inspiring. Jason Tirotta, a 28-year-old in Cleveland, lost nearly 100 pounds after watching his father’s health deteriorate. The memory of his dad continues to encourage him. “I wrote his initials on my shoes when I completed a big marathon, and I touched them every time I felt myself start to drag,” he says.
Joujon-Roche says that people need to remember that they’re losing weight to improve their overall health. “I see lots of people who are perfect when they’re filming, but after filming wraps, they fall off the wagon,” he says, referring to star clients.
Dieters often experience ups and downs. But with real commitment to a weight loss lifestyle, the next 30 days can be the beginning of achieving a slimmer, healthier you for life!