Eat Less, Move More is an Oversimplification

Some of you may have seen this on my facebook page, and while I think it is extremely funny, there is also a lot of truth to it in terms of the complexity of weight loss, or more so, the complexity of keeping the weight off. Successful weight loss is considered weight that has remained off for more then 2 years. While many weight loss plans, especially some version of the Ketosis diet, will help you lose weight quickly, the number of people who keep it off long term are low.
We have just entered the first official season of weight loss activity to combat the pounds put on over the holidays or possibly as a New Year’s resolution. While I appreciate the efforts this time of year, most of the adopted behaviors are more of a short term situation which includes any type of diet (like Keto), cleanse, or extreme exercise plan. However, with that said, I am a fan of the Whole 30 or attempts to cut out processed foods and refined sugars as that can actually reset your taste buds, but there has to be a long term follow up plan, if you want the results to be permanent.
When I was doing weight loss counseling, the people that had long term success, were the ones that focused on small healthy changes that helped them gain momentum over time. For instance, if you drink any of the sugary drinks (soda, energy drinks, mocha frappachino’s/ latte’s, or any other sugary drink) or even diet versions, stop those and that alone can add up to 20 pounds or more over the course of a year (depending on how much and how often). Both the sugary drinks and the diet versions cause you to crave sugar which can lead to additional poor choices that compromise your fitness goals. If you eat fast food or processed foods, eliminate or drastically cut down as they also cause additional cravings.
For those of you who have not exercised for the last couple of months, start small by finding at least 20 min a day to take a walk (lunch break, before or after work, etc) and try to plan longer walks for the weekends or days off, especially if the weather is nice. Finding a person or persons to help you with accountability can be helpful, unless they drop off and that eventually becomes an excuse. A recent survey done on gym memberships in 2019 of 5300 Americans found that 63% of the people never used their membership, 82% go less then 1 time per week, and 22% quit going completely by the 6 month marker.
I am also a fan of introducing a new healthy behavior every 2 to 4 weeks to help it become a habit. Examples of behaviors could be eliminating soda, going for the 20 min walk, or even committing to taking the stairs in your building or parking in the back of the parking lot. What ever behavior is adopted, improved health should be the goal vs. weight as feeling good is a powerful motivator!
For those of you who do not need or want to lose weight, adopting healthy habits to help with sleep, stress, time management, finances, or any other situation that will enhance your quality of life. Sleep and stress are probably the biggest issues that can impact your quality of life and health, so those are great ones to focus on. Simply doing a conscious breath exercise for 2 minutes is enough of a pattern break with stress and even to help relax you for sleep.
Please feel free to post any healthy habit you have adopted this year and lets see if we can motivate each other to keep them going!!