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Entries in social support (3)


How many more diets...?

I’ve been watching diets come and go—for over thirty years (twenty as a weight management professional). A well marketed diet book can pull down big money for publishers and authors, but do they deliver for the consumers buying them that are looking for answers?

For the most part diet books don’t deliver. The vast majority of diet books waste your time on nonsense that won’t—ever—produce results. Every book has its “magic formula,” usually some special combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates that the author asserts makes calories not count, and of course only the author has the secret to! As I've written about before, that's all nonsense.

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Are Successful Losers More Common than You Think?

We’ve all heard the claims that something dire—like 95% of people—always end up gaining back the weight they’ve worked so hard to lose. The point underlying the nay saying and the contrarian remarks is the notion that weight loss is a hopeless, pointless, waste of time.

On the other hand, most of us know someone who lost a chunk of weight and did keep it off. So what made them special? How did they beat the (purported) odds?

The fact is the so often repeated 95% figure, can be traced back to a 1958 research review paper[i] by Albert Stunkard. However, the data from Stunkard’s review was never applicable to the general population.

Part of the reason the 95% myth has been so intractable is that there has been almost no research on weight-loss maintenance that is applicable to the general population.

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Do your supporters outnumber the saboteurs in your life?

Because you live in a culture that’s unfavorable toward weight control, the people you live and work with are very important to the success of your weight management efforts. There are three roles they’ll play:

  1. A positive influence—supportive
  2. A negative influence—a saboteur (either consciously, or not)
  3. A neutral influence—not actively supportive, but also not a saboteur

The purpose of developing a support network is to ensure that you have more people on the positive side of the ledger than on the negative side. Weight Loss Mastery Skill #5 is Support. The people most likely to sustain new behaviors (in this case healthy eating and an active lifestyle) are the ones who have social support in doing them.

I’ll be posting a more detailed discussion on 1) how to create your support network, 2) using support to prevent lapses from becoming relapse, and 3) sabotage, and handling saboteurs.

Stay tuned!