It’s clear that no two weight loss stories are exactly alike—but there are certainly some big similarities. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, why not take a look at a few things that have worked for others? When it comes to losing weight, here are the things that success stories have in common.
Prior to starting a successful weight loss journey, those most likely to see it through have at least one major reason—or motivation—for trying to lose weight. That source of motivation helps throughout the process. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found a significant correlation between motivation and weight loss over the course of a 16-week online program. The authors of the study said that their findings “suggest that building motivation may be an effective means of promoting adherence and weight loss."
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a major source for health research and education, highlights setting goals as a top action that will help you lose weight. They say that choosing the right type of goals is an important first step and that goals should ideally be “specific, attainable and forgiving.” Setting personal short and long-term goals helps outline a clear path and a way to measure success.
This is a classic suggestion for people trying to lose weight and, unsurprisingly, it’s something that successful weight losers actually do. According to research done by the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), 78 percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off eat breakfast every day. A healthy meal in the morning helps control hunger and kick start the metabolism.
According to the American Psychological Association, several studies suggest that it’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have a group, exercise buddy or social support. One study, in particular, found that those who joined a weight loss program with friends had a better record of keeping the weight off after six months. Add that to the anecdotal evidence of success in a group and it’s clear that many people trying to lose weight benefit from social support.
Tracking progress is a key part of any undertaking and according to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), the measurement is a big part of most weight loss success stories. The registry reports that 75 percent of people who have who have successfully lost weight and kept it off weigh themselves at least once a week. Having an idea of how far you’ve come and what you need to do to reach your goal can be helpful when it comes to losing weight.
Although exercise alone won’t get people to their weight loss goals, it’s still an incredibly important part of the process. Not only is regular physical activity crucial for overall health of the mind and body, but according to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), of all successful weight loss stories, 90 percent included, on average, one hour of exercise per day. The registry said that the most frequently reported activity is walking, which is a great workout.
There are thousands of diets, pills and programs out there that promise immediate results, but even when that works out for a little while, the quick method rarely provides lasting results. Losing weight and keeping it off is hard work and taking shortcuts is a bad idea in the long run. Those who have found long-term weight loss success know that it’s an ongoing process, not a one-time quick fix.
Almost everyone working toward the goal of losing weight will eventually run into a setback. Whether it be a deviation from their diet plan, a few missed days of exercise or a week of unexpected weight gain, the thing that all weight loss success stories have in common is determination to overcome temporary setbacks. Losing weight doesn’t happen overnight and it’s usually not a linear process, those who find success have had to stick with it through rough patches.
This is a huge factor in keeping the weight off—unfortunately some people learn the hard way that without permanent changes, any progress will slip away. People work hard to lose the weight and then some mistakenly think the effort is over, but without lasting changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle, the weight will eventually come back.