Build on Weight Loss Motives to Boost Success

So much focus surrounding weight management is on the ‘WHAT’ to do and ‘HOW’ to do it to lose weight and keep it off.

However, it can be helpful to step back and review the ‘WHY’ managing weight is important to you at this point in your life.

Although the ‘WHY’ for losing weight can start as a singular focused desire like for an upcoming wedding, it can be used as the impetus for achieving long-term weight management where the ‘WHY’ will take on new meaning.

According to researchers, individuals with narrow-focused appearance-based goals have worse weight loss outcomes as compared to those who are losing weight to improve their health.

Building on motives can help boost weight management success.

Here are some new motives to consider:

1- Find Enjoyment

It’s human nature that people do things they enjoy and stay away from things they don’t like.

Think about fun ways to pursue healthier behaviors, whether it’s a dance class you want to try, a new sport like pickleball that’s all the rage or walking for pleasure in green spaces in and around your community.

Or pair healthier lifestyle activities with things you already enjoy, such as watching TV (by moving a treadmill to your TV room so you can watch your favorite shows) or listening to upbeat music (while wearing a bluetooth headset and climbing stairs at home or walking in your neighborhood).

If gardening is your thing, you can certainly work up a sweat tending to your garden.

Or find enjoyment by getting a new kitchen gadget like an air fryer or salad chopper which will encourage you to make healthier meals for your entire family.

2- Pay Attention to Immediate Benefits

As you try new things in your quest to attain better health, start to reflect on ways these new activities offer you some immediate benefits.

Realizing immediate benefits can drive healthier behaviors.

Here are some examples:

  • A 10-minute walk outside in the midst of a stressful work day can help you feel less stressed and have a clearer mind.
  • A planned healthy snack that combines protein and produce can give you an energy boost in the late afternoon.
  • Taking an after dinner walk with your dog before or after work helps to lift your mood.
  • Doing resistance training 2 times a week in the morning at home using your own body weight and some bands can make you feel stronger.

3- Connect with Others

Higher levels of social connections can influence and inspire you to engage in health-related behaviors.

Doing physically active leisure-time activities with another person can be a great way to maintain relationships and health at the same time.

Talking while walking, taking a dance aerobics class or learning a new sport with others are different ways to stay connected and active at the same time – all good for both your body and mind.

You can be accountable to others, which can help keep you motivated.

Social connections can predict better physical and mental health outcomes and ease stress.

Here’s to enjoying better health!


Robert Kushner, MD


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