Diet book, plans, and advice could be one piece to the puzzle of weight loss. In fact, choosing the right plan that works for you is one of the most important steps. However, if you are like most, then you have tried every possible diet on the market (at least once), in hopes of losing your extra weight. Granted, on one of these plans you probably lost a fair amount of weight, but once you ended the program, did you gain it all back and then some?
Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides of weight loss programs.
Each program could improve your weight loss, but very few programs focus on existing behaviors that probably got you to the point of needing to lose weight in the first place. According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it could show that changing certain health behaviors may stimulate greater weight loss results (this study was on post-menopausal women). Let me explain…
Behavior Change and Weight Loss
According to this study, there are three components that you need to do in order to lose weight.
• Altering your dietary intake behavior (increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, decrease fat intake)
• Modifying eating patterns (eating out vs. home prepared meals)
In order to lose weight, this study suggests that you need to include all three components into your weight loss program.
The authors of this study wanted to see if self-monitoring behaviors, dietary intake behaviors, and eating habits were associated with weight loss at the end of 12 months in post-menopausal, overweight, or obese women. They recruited 123 women with an average age of 58 who were post-menopausal, overweight, or obese. Each participant was given a calorie-controlled diet that was intended to achieve 10% weight loss at the end of 12 months. After the participants completed anthropometric measurements and self-reported health behaviors, they were each enrolled in a weight loss group that met weekly. At the end of 12 months, the mean percentage of weight loss averaged 10.7 pounds in the group.
The researchers showed that people with greater weight loss at 12 months, included things such as keeping a food journal and decreasing overall fat intake. They also noted that people who reported less weight loss compared to others, associated their lack of weight loss to skipping meals and eating out at lunch. From their work, they concluded that in order to lose weight effectively, there needs to be a greater focus on eating home-prepared meals, decreasing overall fat intake, eating at regular intervals, and dietary self-monitoring (keeping food journals, counting calories, etc.), which may improve weight loss at 12 months in overweight or obese post-menopausal women.
Improve Your Weight Loss
There are many different aspects when you are considering taking part in a weight loss program. Most programs on the market today may improve your weight loss results, however, they also could lead you to gaining the weight back, potentially more, due to the inability of the program to not address previous health aspects that led to your initial weight gain. However, according to the results of this study, keeping a food journal, decreasing your fat intake, and avoiding the chance to eat out at lunch (or other meals) could promote greater weight loss. Adopting healthier lifestyles that include keeping track of your food intake, changing the way you eat, and even monitoring your own habits (exercise, weighing in, calorie counting), could be yet another key to losing weight and keeping it off.
By Kevin DiDonato
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