Well, I have a confession to make. “Big losers” don’t really impress me.
I’m not saying that it doesn’t take tremendous commitment to dramatically change your lifestyle. These people definitely have guts, and they should be proud of that.
I’m saying that in order to maintain your ideal weight for the long term, you need to take a radically different approach than what you see on TV.
The Truth about Rapid Weight Loss
These media-hyped weight loss stories are full of misconceptions.
First, “weight” is not fat. Weight could be composed of mostly lean tissue, or it could be mostly water weight.
In fact, I would go a step further and point out that rapid loss of bodyweight correlates very highly with a greater chance of relapse, weight re-gain and long-term failure. So I find little of interest in these stories.
These are the people who have maintained an ideal weight for over a year, preferably two years or more.
In one study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, people were surveyed about strategies to maintain an ideal weight.
In this particular survey, only one-third (30.96%) of the respondents said they were successful at keeping their weight off.
The researchers wanted to know the difference between the small group that was successful and the majority that were not.
The weight loss winners shared their habits for long-term success — and now you can learn from them.
Here are five strategies you can use to keep the weight off for good:
A significantly higher proportion of successful maintainers reported exercising 30 minutes or more daily.
They also reported adding other physical activity to their daily schedules (i.e. recreation, sports, physical work).
Exercise can jumpstart weight loss, but more importantly, it’s critical for weight maintenance.
Strategy #2: Get off the couch
Couch potatoes, take note. Spend less time doing sedentary activities, such as watching TV and web surfing, and you’ll be more like the winners surveyed.
Instead, take up physical recreation such as sports, boating, biking, walking, hiking, gardening — or anything that gets you moving.
Strategy #3: Add weight training to your routine
Sometimes I think weight training doesn’t get the attention it deserves, particularly for women. It can increase your bone density and help you maintain joint flexibility.
Include weight training as part of your formal exercise program throughout the fat loss phase, and even more seriously during maintenance.
Strategy #4: Track and monitor everything
Winners practice “self-monitoring behaviors” including:
- tracking calories
- tracking body weight
- planning meals
- tracking fat
- measuring the amount of food on their plate
These self-monitoring behaviors are being identified more and more frequently in the research as part of “the difference that makes the difference.”
I agree, and they have always played a major role in my programs.
Strategy #5: Have the right attitude
For example, instead of “I don’t have time to exercise,” say to yourself, “I can always make time for what is most important to me.”
There are limitations to any survey results, of course, yet I believe these findings are important and significant.
If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off for good, these five strategies can help you predict your success.
Look and see how your habits stack up against them. If you’re not using all five of them yet, then why not start today?
If you’re ready to take the next step in transforming your body, you need to learn how to lose body fat, not body weight.
Take a moment to watch this complimentary video on my incredibly powerful fat-burning program. You’ll learn the secrets that get amazing results for me and my clients.
About the Author:
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 bestselling diet e-book Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.
He has written hundreds of articles and has been featured in numerous websites and exercise and body-building magazines worldwide.
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- 5 No-Nonsense Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss - September 12th, 2012