Anyone who has ever sought to lose weight has no doubt seen the countless diet plans/quick fixes that involve lots of restriction, meal replacement strategies or some other method that simply restricts our calories so excessively that weight is lost, or supposedly lost quickly.
We all know someone who spends their time popping up on the Facebooks of people seeking help only to try and persuade them to burn a hole in their wallet promising them that their method will beat any and every other.
Most of us should know that unfortunately, however well marketed, these methods simply don’t stick.
If you couldn’t tell, this is an area we as coaches here are incredibly passionate about, we experience it frequently and have many members who have experienced these diets and been through this cycle.
Its not that people suck at dieting, in fact most people are actually pretty good.
I’m sure most of you have been successful at some point following some method.
The issue is long term weight maintenance. People struggle to lose weight slowly and then keep it off.
The research agrees…
‘Only 17% of Americans were able to sustain a 10% weight loss after 1 year’
– Kraschnewski, et al. (2010).
– De Zwaan et al. (2008) also found similar findings.
So why is this??
What are some of the reasons why people struggle to sustain their weightloss??
If you were to lose 1lb per week for the next year, you’d be nearly 4 stone lighter, however a 1lb loss is almost shrugged off and disregarded by some who are trying to lose weight.…
We expect immediacy. In modern society we can satisfy our needs almost immediately. Advances in technology means we have access to more things than ever on our own time and our own terms. So when someone gains weight and becomes unhappy, the quick fix always becomes more appealing than a slow steady weight loss. I mean, what if it was to work this time round?
(Note: if it didn’t last time then it won’t this time).
So learn to be patient and embrace the journey. Great results and sustainable weight loss unfortunately doesn’t happen overnight.
A lack of Social support?
Everything is easier when we are surrounded by like minded people who we can relate to. Too many people try and do things alone and never seek any social support that could become the difference between them staying on track or falling off once again.
A lack of knowledge?
Without understanding why weight is lost its easy to become attached to certain dieting methods and believing they are the sole reason as to why you have lost weight.
Crawford et al. (2000) showed that one of the main reasons people failed to lose weight was because of the effort it took to continue with most diets. Simply put, people over complicate things and make things harder and more restrictive than they need to be due to a lack of knowing whats right.
Weight loss is all about a calorie deficit and if you want to understand more about whats important when dieting then read our previous article here…
A lack of physical activity paired with dieting?
Crawford et al. 2000 also showed in their study analysing weight maintenance that ‘physical activity is one of the strongest predictors of successful weight loss maintenance.’
A lot of us choose to diet only and not do anything to increase how physically active we are. So alongside dieting efforts look to find a form of physical activity that you enjoy.
To conclude this piece and a summary for anyone who made it this far….
- Quick fixes are not the answer, embrace the process, you have to be in it for the long haul. Learn to be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day and weight loss doesn’t happen over night.
- Understand how weight is lost. Calories calories calories!
- Set up a diet thats achievable, its the only way you’ll last long term.
- Find some social support.Together we do things better.
- Find a form of physical activity you enjoy to compliment your dieting efforts and enhance your weight loss.