It’s true that 95% of all dieters gain their weight back – and then some. Dieting isn’t the answer, and you can learn a lot from those who’ve done it and kept it off.
Below are 10 common factors that were present among a group of successful “dieters” who did just that.
Experience is the Best Teacher
Rather than focusing on the dire 95% fail rate statistic, focusing on what factors were involved in diet success stories where people didn’t regain weight lost seems like a better way to look at things. So in studying a group of people whose average weight loss is 65 pounds and who have kept the weight off for at least three years, here are the common threads that were found to work for them:
Positive outlook and feedback : – Simply put, they believed they could do it – and so they did. No matter how many times they failed, they continued to soldier on until they met their weight loss goals. Instead of getting sick and tired of failing and giving up, they felt empowered by it and were determined not to ever lose again. Also, rather than bashing themselves verbally when they made mistakes, they fed themselves with kind words along the way.
The goal of personal happiness – They weren’t losing the weight to please anyone but themselves. They weren’t trying to gain anyone’s approval, catch anyone’s eye or eliminate any ridicule for being overweight; they simply wanted to be better versions of themselves. One young lady discovered that once she was accepted by a man just the way she was, she was finally able to lose the weight.
<h2>Sticking with what worked </h2>
– Some people found that doing what they loved to do was the best way to lose weight, while others chose to go through a commercial diet center, self-help group, personal trainer or dietician. Furthermore, they made more realistic weight loss goals and, once reached, kept going with a new goal in sight.
Willingness to change eating habits – Dieting doesn’t work, because you quit certain foods for a while and return to them when the diet is over. A true weight loss plan involves a style of eating that you can keep up with for life. Learning to gradually incorporate more fruits and vegetables, healthy spices and herbs instead of salt and butter, etc. are some examples.
Temporary lapses quickly dealt with – Watching the scale didn’t become an obsession, but rather a weekly thing on a particular day of the week. If, by chance, they slipped up and gained more weight than they allowed for, they would quickly and drastically make changes to fix the problem.
Changes included exercising more, cutting back on sweet foods, reducing portion sizes, food journaling, or whatever it took to get back on track. They didn’t beat themselves up if they slipped up, but quickly executed their backup plan of action.
Exercise – Exercise became a way of life – not necessarily daily, but often. The more it involved activities they loved, the better they were at maintaining.
Facing emotions – Rather than eating when upset, they learned to call a friend, leave the house, go for a drive, or do something fun instead. They found workable solutions to every negative emotion that might crop up and implemented them when necessary.
Enjoying life – Fun and self-care is also a way of life. They found that taking care of themselves first was important in order to take care of anyone else.
Support from loved ones – They asked their loved ones to help them stay accountable and on track and surrounded themselves with encouraging people.