Recently researchers at the University of Colorado looked at 75,000 people over a 7-year period who had followed the Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) program, a low-cost national weight loss program that had been led by peer volunteers.
They discovered that those who took part in this program were able to experience “clinically significant” weight loss with users typically losing 5% of their body weight in the first year.
Even more interestingly was the fact that those volunteers who lost weight, 62% were able to keep the weight off over the 7-year period.
So what made the TOPS program so effective? Well, the researchers discovered 3 reasons for its success:
- It is a low-cost program, so anyone can use it
- Its sustainable, so you can continue to use it even after losing weight
- Its peer led, so you will get help that will help keep you motivated
While the TOPS program is not available Worldwide the following tips are available for free and will give you that little extra help needed for you to achieve long term weight loss success.
#1: Workout with friends
Rather than meeting your friends for lunch, schedule a workout together instead.
Working out with friends can help motivate you and will ensure you are both accountable, which should ensure you workout that much harder.
You can also use this tip with your significant other too, as a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showing that couples were more likely to keep to healthy habits if they take part in them together.
#2: Keep to the same eating schedule
If you keep to the same eating schedule you will have more success in your weight loss efforts.
Rather than missing meals or going hours without food, try and eat every few hours to ensure you do not suffer from any cravings, and also so that your metabolism is working to its full potential.
#3: Create a weight loss mantra
We have all seen those weight loss memes on those popular social networking sites. Well, if you have a favourite one then you should try and memorise it so that you can repeat it to yourself the next time you find yourself struggling with your efforts.
Doing so should help focus your mind on your goal, and hopefully remove those negative thoughts that are maybe clouding your mind.
#4: Use smaller plates
To avoid over-eating we should use a smaller plate as this will make it impossible to overfill our plate.
#5: Learn what to do with carbs
While some diets will advocate completely cutting carbs from your diet when attempting to lose weight, this is probably not the best idea.
Of course if you eat too many carbs daily then you may need to think about cutting back a little bit.
However, you should also realise that our body needs carbs to function properly. For instance without carbs we will struggle for energy, which will make exercise impossible and will make our everyday chores difficult to complete.
If you choose the right kind of carbs then they should not cause you any issues.
#6: Get a friend to text you
A study published in the Health Promotion Practice discovered that those who received regular text updates about their calorie allowance as well as motivational messages were able to make better meal and snack choices, so were able to lose weight.
Ask a friend if they can send you a few of these kinds of texts a day to see if it has an effect on you.
#7: Wait 5 minutes
If you suffer a food craving then I would suggest rather than immediately rush to the snack draw you wait 5 minutes to see if the craving will pass.
Normally cravings will only last for 5 minutes so if you can take your mind off it for this time period then it should pass.
Of course if it doesn’t then you should let the craving ruin your efforts, so please try not to reach for the chocolate bar or crisps, instead try a handful of nuts or some fresh fruit instead.