Ever wanted to know the techniques and tricks used by those who successfully lost weight, and kept it off?
Thanks to a scintillating survey conducted by popular weight loss site SparkPeople – we’ve now got some road-tested tips to give you the best chance at managing weight.
As part of an updated paperback version of the bestselling book The Spark, (new edition here), the authors at Sparkpeople undertook a comprehensive survey of over 2,000 members. Why do 50% of people report losing momentum within 2 weeks of starting a diet? And why do 18% fizz out within just 3 days?
The answer is the ‘strong start’. These strong starters lost twice as much weight in the first two weeks, and were five times more likely to reach goals than the false starters.
Secrets of the Strong Start
- Track Food and Calories
Both strong and false starters ranked “food tracking” as the one action that made the biggest difference in their programs. 82% of strong starters tracked food every day vs. 65% of false starters, and strong starters were twice as likely to track their calories.
- Don’t put certain foods off limits
Strong starters were less likely to label foods “good” or “bad” and forsake certain foods, and were three times more likely to use portion control techniques that supported consumption of unhealthier foods in moderation.
- Spend LESS time exercising
On average, strong starters exercised for 30 minutes during the first two weeks; false starters for 60 minutes, suggesting that false starters burned themselves out.
- Focus on both diet and exercise
74 percent of false starters made both fitness and dietary changes from the outset, compared to 50 percent offalse starters.
- Engage more with others/have a support network
Strong starters were more than twice as likely to communicate with other members online.
- Weigh yourself weekly, not daily
Most strong starters weighed themselves weekly, while the majority of false starters did so daily.
- Focus first and foremost on developing healthy habits, not losing weight
Most strong starters viewed their #1 goal as “building a strong foundation of healthy habits.” A majority of false starters made losing 3-4 pounds in their first two weeks their #1 goal, which backfired.
Note that these methods worked for many people – but we are all individuals and is it important to find out what works for you.