Weight loss is a complicated, but you know that… Here’s what we know:
Behavioural therapy, which is made up of dietary and physical activity recommendations along with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is a powerful and successful method of weight loss.
The problem most people have is keeping the weight off; this has been heavily researched, and it is now known that the average length of time from the start of weight loss to weight regain is 5-6 months.
Exercise plays a positive role in bucking this trend and maintaining weight loss, and also has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity which is good news in the prevention of type II diabetes (a high risk associated with obesity). In fact, in recent studies, the best weight loss and maintenance (in the 2 years after the start of the weight loss program) results were seen in those who incorporated exercise from start of the program. The success was attributed to the intensive style that was adopted where the weight loss participants met with their dietitian and physical trainer face to face for regular sessions.
What we knew prior to these studies was that the timing of the introduction of exercise to a weight loss program was key to obese individuals’ success. Research had shown that exercise was vital to keep weight off but that participants grew weary and eventually ceased exercising after 3-6 months (50% drop off rate). What was novel about the recent study was that if an intensive approach from the start was adopted then this was not the case and that participants saw a significantly better rate of success.
So the message from this research is to make sure you plan your weight loss journey:
Do consider how you are going to include the physical AND mental sides of weight loss in your approach and do consider how you are going to ensure the weight stays off once you have successfully lost it.
If you would like to try an intensive approach, we have developed a package that combines work with our Dietitian, Alice, with the physical training our personal trainers offer, just get in touch to discuss your requirements.
You are still unconvinced of the need to change
- Read about the health consequences of inactivity and obesity
- Read inspirational stories of those who have successfully changed their lives
- Speak to others who have changed successfully
- Talk to your docotor about the health consequences of inactivity and the benefits of exercise
2. Belief but uncommitted:
You believe you should be more active but cannot get started
- Visualise yourself as a new person: what you will look like, what you will weigh, what clothes you will fit into, how energetic you feel, how much younger you look. Contrast this with the old you.
- Tally the health benefits: how exercise will reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, etc…
- Visualise new social possibilities
- Be realistic about the alternatives: TV watching, more work, watching life pass you by as opposed to active engagement and meeting new challenges
3. Active planning:
You are actively planning the new you
- Set a start date
- Set small, achievable goals even minutes a day, 3 to 4 days per week.
- Make a detailed plan including scheduling your exercise time into your daily planner for at least the next 3 months.
- Be specific; when, how long, and where you will exercise, what back up plan you have for bad weather or unforeseen events including heavier work loads, illness and holidays.
- Enlist support; let others know that you will be exercising, see if friends want to join you.
- Set goals. Think about training for short races or even a half marathon if your a runner.
- Believe in your self and let nothing stand in your way. Its your life!
4. Active engagement:
You are currently engaged in a training routine
- Keep a training journal
- Reward yourself every week, it could be a good movie, concert or another activity you really like
- Maintain a positive attitude towards your progress
- Be consistent
- Dont worry if you miss a session, make it up the next day
5. Image creation:
You are not only training, you are creating a new image for yourself. You see yourself as a “walker” or a “swimmer”
- Visualise this paradigm shift. You should be trying to define yourself by your actions-you are a “tai chi practitioner”, you are a “marathoner”.
- Subscribe to magazines or journals that reinforce your new image.
- Seek out others who are involved in similar activities
You have a new self image and only severe setbacks such as illness or injury will deter you from keeping up your training.
- Make a backup plan for setbacks
- Continue to refine your goals.Are you training for fitness only? Would you like to set a weight loss goal? Would you like to enter a competition?
7. The new you:
You are a new person
- Expand your horizons by seeking more knowledge about your fitness pursuits.
- Help others to become whole by introducing them to your techniques.
- Consider writing about your experiences.
- Maintain your training diary