Losing weight is among the top New Year’s resolutions made by many Americans. But it requires behavioural changes and a certain amount of discipline.
“People need a motivation to lose weight and the new year is an opportunity to start fresh,” said Dr. Jessica Bartfield, internal medicine and medical weight-loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System.
“Behaviour change is the cornerstone of healthy, successful weight loss and it takes about three months to establish a new behavior,” said Bartfield. “Just as you learn to play a musical instrument from a skilled teacher, you need to learn how to lose weight from professionals. You need to practice and make mistakes until you get it right. At Loyola, a team of tried-and-true medical experts can teach you the skills you need to achieve and maintain behavior change.”
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) consists of about 4,000 Americans who have lost, on average, about 30 pounds and have maintained this loss for five years. “This registry provides a tremendous source of information about the behaviors associated with successful weight-loss maintenance. I often help my patients identify and incorporate these same behaviours into their own lives,” Bartfield said.
Top dos from Dr. Bartfield and the NWCR
- Eat breakfast
- Weigh yourself once per week
- Get in one hour of moderate physical activity each day
- Watch fewer than 10 hours of TV per week
Top donts from Dr Bartfield and the NWCR
- Overestimate amount of physical activity.
- Underestimate caloric intake
- Set unrealistic goals
- Lack of consistency
- Failure to plan for setbacks