Are you trying to lose weight? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study found 42% of adults are currently trying to lose weight, while another 23% are fighting to maintain their weight. There’s a plethora of information available on weight management, and in truth, it requires a host of factors for success. However, this post outlines three handy tips research has shown to be integral to weight loss, and weight maintenance for long-term health and wellness.
Choose the Diet You’re Most Likely to Stick To
If you have tried to lose weight in the past you would know one of the biggest factors challenging weight loss is sticking to a diet. Over the years there has been debate over which dietary option is the most effective for weight loss: low fat or low carbohydrate? Intriguingly, and conveniently I might add, research is revealing that as long as you are on an isocaloric diet, with adequate protein, you can alter the ratios of the other macronutrients (fat or carbs) to achieve successful weight loss. When it comes to deciding which dietary approach is going to be more preferential over the other, research supports choosing a diet that is more congruent with your food preferences. So ask yourself, is your diet predominately fats (i.e. you can’t live without avocado), or carbohydrates (i.e. you couldn’t go a week without pasta)?
Self-Monitor For Success
What’s more, frequent self-monitoring has been shown to be a strong predictor of dietary change – which is super important if you hope to adopt healthier habits long-term. To be specific, when it comes to dietary self-monitoring, it involves recording the type and amount of foods and beverages consumed, along with their calorie content. The research recommends self-monitoring your dietary intake as well as physical activity daily, and weighing yourself once a week when you’re losing weight, then every day when you’re maintaining your weight. You may record information through a dedicated app, or using a paper diary. You don’t have to be 100% accurate with everything you record, it’s more about bringing your awareness to your eating and exercise habits – which in turn, assists with making healthy choices and adhering to your goals.
Frequent contact with healthcare providers has been shown to be integral for producing meaningful weight loss (i.e. >5% of initial body weight), and ongoing interaction improves long-term outcomes too.
What constitutes as frequent contact you ask? There’s some debate around this, but during weight loss it ranges from weekly to fortnightly contact for the first 5 to 6 months, then followed by at least monthly contact for weight maintenance long-term. If you don’t have the time or finances to check in with a Practitioner weekly, or even fortnightly during the first 5 to 6 months, there are a couple of other options to ensure you benefit from ongoing support, such as:
- a) Locate a Practitioner offering group sessions, or join a local community weight loss or fitness group to attend alongside consultations with your Practitioner. If you schedule one face-to-face visit with your Practitioner monthly, along with a face-to-face group session between consultations – you will maintain the benefits of ongoing support and accountability fortnightly.
- b) Enquire whether your Practitioner offers electronic (i.e. email, messaging) check-ins.
Keep in mind, losing weight and maintaining losses is about changing your current habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle long-term. It’s about waking up each day, choosing to eat a meal your body will love and getting active, because that’s what you do – it’s part of your life. However, you can’t be expected to do it alone, these changes require ongoing support and encouragement. Hopefully these 3 handy tips will provide some insight and direction on your weight loss journey. All the best!
References on request