There is no doubt that many of us are overweight and that a lot of us try to lose that extra weight, yet only around 30% are successful in their weight reduction programs and in keeping that weight off.
Perhaps surprisingly, the odds of successful weight loss are not significantly affected by race or ethnicity, education or household income.
So what weight loss strategies have been shown to be successful? Studies have shown there are many, including planning meals, tracking calories, tracking fat, monitoring meal sizes, daily weight monitoring and regular exercise (30 minutes or more each day).
Sounds pretty straight-forward does not it? So why do so many of us fail? Reasons for failure include not exercising because of lack of time, tiredness, lack of anyone to exercise with and exercise routine is too hard to maintain and eating the wrong foods because of eating away from home too often, preferring to eat junk food, not paying attention to diet, diet / health foods not satisfying, diet / health food costs too much and not sticking to a diet plan each day.
Looking at these reasons, you can see we need to be very organized if we want to succeed and having the help of those around us is very important. For example, if our family and / or friends offer to exercise with us, it removes a reason for not exercising and therefore not burning fat. Also, if those we eat with discourage us from eating out it will help us lose weight because home cooked meals have been found to be generally lower in calories, fat and sodium and higher in fiber than the meals we eat when dining out. Home-cooked meals have also been found to be generally more nutritional.
Putting it simply, the answer to successful weight loss is not just wanting to do it, but having a structured plan that we stick to and having the ongoing support of those close to us.
Avoid gimmicks and fads as these have been shown over and over to either not work at all or working only in the short term, leaving those who undertook the program often more overweight than they were when they started. Not only that, but some have even been shown to be dangerous as they starve the body of essential nutrients or overload on things we should avoid.
There is no magic pill to take; unfortunately it is not that easy.
Sometimes nothing seems to work for an individual and surgery can be an answer in such cases, but be sure to discuss alternatives with your doctor before rushing into surgery. For example, liposuction may quickly remove fat and make you temporarily healthier and looking better, but it will not stop the fat from coming back if you do not change your eating and exercise habits.
Look for structured programs to follow that incorporate the above ideas, choose one and stick to it! The weight will come off.