We’re here to help. Here are the secrets of people who’ve lost 50 pounds or more, courtesy of The National Weight Control Registry and Psychology Today magazine.
- Make RADICAL changes. A lot of people think that moderate dietary changes are easier to stick with, but as with quitting drug or alcohol addiction, drastic changes are actually easier. Deidre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of Waistland, says you can’t tell an alcoholic “Hey - if you stay clean all week, you can have a small martini on the weekend!” It’s the same with food. Certain foods derail your metabolism in a similar way. You need to cut out refined sugars, simple carbohydrates and trans fats – PERIOD. No splurging on the weekends or your metabolism will go berserk and disrupt what you’ve accomplished.
- Reprogram your brain. Losing weight means developing new eating habits. Like reaching for an orange instead of an Oreo. The hardest part is the first 72 hours, when eating right is an act of WILL. After three weeks of sticking to it, your hunger and cravings subside, and control over your eating choices becomes more automatic. There you go – your brain has been rewired!
- Exercise like you mean it. An evening walk every other day isn’t going to cut it. Ninety percent of people on the Registry who lost 50 pounds or more exercised for a full HOUR on average, most days a week.
- Stop living on autopilot! Studies show that people who push their comfort zones and try new things – like reading a new magazine or listening to a new radio station – lose weight and keep it off. Why? Because breaking out of your routine makes you more aware of your choices in general, and you’re less likely to engage in mindless eating.