While weight loss is a very individual endeavor, there are certain habits that are common with those who lose weight and keep it off. In fact, there is even a national group, The National Weight Control Registry, created to follow behaviors of those successful weight loss maintainers. After helping tens of thousands of patients lose weight, Dr. Garcia and his staff, have witnessed 5 habits that are commonplace among successful patients.
- Accountability: It helps to have someone to answer to besides yourself. Accountability can work in many different forms; a friend, a food diary, your weekly appointment at our center. Consistently checking in will keep your goals in the front of your mind. One study shows that people who share their food diary with just 1 other person lose twice as much weight as those who keep it private. Your accountability partner can, and should, be supportive (like our awesome staff)…everyone hits bumps in the road. But you’ll get back on track a lot faster when you can acknowledge your slip-up, get some reassurance, and move on.
- Planning: Weight loss takes planning, routines, and strategy. If you prepare in advance, you are less likely to make a poor choice at mealtime. Successful planners use a shopping list (and they don’t shop on an empty stomach). They plan ahead for meals AND snacks so they don’t get caught unprepared and hungry. It also helps to have a routine, routines give your brain and willpower a break from making tough choices. Weight loss gurus also have a strategy in place and they stick with it. For example, if they decide to join friends out for lunch, they’ve already decided that they will chose a salad with lean protein. That way they don’t even browse and tempt themselves with other sections of the menu.
- Activity: We all know your diet is absolutely critical to your weight loss, but there is no denying that activity every day helps. People who lose weight and keep it off get active 4-5 times a week. The benefits of this activity is two-fold…obviously, activity helps burn calories, but it can also give you more motivation to eat well and continue to treat your body kindly. The better you feel, the more active you can be which can make you feel and look even better…it’s a wonderful cycle!!
- Keeping Track: Whether it’s a food journal, a fitness monitor that you wear, or an app (ahem, keep an eye out for Dr. G’s awesome new Vivaliti app, coming soon), it helps to track your meals and activity. Logging what you eat can help keep you honest and make you pay more attention to portions. Many people underestimate what they actually consume, when you have to track it, it can really be eye-opening and help to change habits. In fact, 88% of people who log meals for 7 days lose weight.
- Support: It’s hard to lose weight on your own. Successful losers have set up their homes, workplaces, and their friends to assist in their weight loss. They share their experiences with supportive people whether it’s in our office, in person with friends, or maybe a social network of like-minded people.
Following these habits and sticking with your nutritional plan is a fantastic way to become a successful loser yourself. If you want to learn more about Garcia Weight Loss and the support we offer, click here for your No Cost Consult.
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on February 23, 2015