In 2015, Dr. Pedro Teixeira and his colleagues published a study where they looked at the scientific research to find out what traits can help people succeed in losing weight in the long run. They discovered five qualities anyone could develop to improve their chances of achieving successful weight loss.
Autonomous motivation is when the reason for wanting to lose weight comes from within you. It's about having a strong desire to improve yourself, not because others want it for you, like doctors, dietitians, family, or friends. You can develop autonomous motivation by considering how weight loss benefits you. Would it make certain activities easier and more enjoyable for you? Would it improve your health and potentially reduce the need for medication? Is it because you want to lower your risk of certain conditions? Do you want to feel more comfortable in your own body? By considering what needs of yours would be fulfilled through weight loss, you can ensure that your reasons feel meaningful and satisfying. It's like investing in yourself that will pay off in the long run.
Self-efficacy refers to how confident you feel about achieving your weight loss goals. It's about believing in yourself and your ability to succeed. You're more likely to be right if you think you can't do something. But if you believe in yourself, you'll also be right! Developing self-efficacy can be challenging, especially if you've had difficulties. It can be helpful to reflect on past accomplishments that you're proud of. For example, graduating from college, buying a house, starting a business, or finding a fulfilling relationship. Remind yourself that you can take actions that lead to positive outcomes. If you've lost weight before, you can do it again! A helpful thought to cultivate self-efficacy could be: "I am capable of overcoming challenges when I truly want something." As humans, we can reflect on our thoughts and work on changing them to align with our goals.
Self-regulation refers to your ability to monitor yourself and make plans to achieve your weight loss goals. It's an essential factor that can determine your success. People who keep track of their weight and what they eat tend to be more successful. By identifying obstacles and challenges, we can think about using our strengths and developing strategies to overcome them. Self-monitoring means building new habits that become so natural. It's like brushing your teeth every day!
Flexible self-restraint means that, with the guidance of your care team, you will develop a personalized "food plan" that supports your weight loss and long-term maintenance goals. No food is inherently good or bad, and no forbidden foods exist. However, there will be certain foods that you'll want to limit and enjoy in moderation to prioritize a healthy and nourishing approach for your body. People who practice flexible self-restraint may include occasional indulgences in their plan and don't view it as a significant setback if they deviate from it on a particular day. They understand that this way of living is for the long haul and have deliberately chosen to prioritize their well-being.
It turns out that hating yourself won't lead to successful weight loss. Instead, we need to approach this journey with love and kindness. Many of us who have struggled with weight have faced bias and negative messages from the media that make us feel there's something wrong with us because of our weight. It's essential to nurture self-compassion and self-acceptance, regardless of the numbers on the scale. Treating ourselves like our own best friend is crucial. We often see the beauty in those we care about and refrain from criticizing their appearance, and we should do the same for ourselves. Take time to appreciate things you like about your appearance and marvel at how your body enables you to do everyday activities. Practice mindfulness while showering and enjoy the sensation of warm water on your skin. Wear comfortable clothes and make you feel good. Cultivating a positive body image is essential as you embark on this journey.
The entire team at Weight Loss Coach is here to support you on this unique and thrilling journey. We will work together to help you develop these qualities gradually. Take heart and stay motivated! It's just a matter of time before you progress and achieve your goals.