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3 Keys to Weight Loss Success

Losing weight and keeping it off seems to be some ancient secret that humans have yet to discover. That's an Indiana Jones movie I am interested in!

It has been only in recent years that we have developed new strategies for weight loss.

Weight loss surgery is a very common solution these days, but surgical options have existed for only the last 30 years or so. Advancements in bariatric surgery are even newer!

And, in only the last 3 years, we have seen the development of new medications. While these new medications are ground breaking, costs and insurance coverage prevent access to the majority.

No doubt, healthcare has began to see weight struggles as a more serious, chronic condition. However, surgery and medication are still tools. While we have newer, better tools, our mindset and behaviors remain essential to weight loss success.

So, what are the secrets of "keeping our head in the game"?

Let's start with consistency...


It seems that "sticking to it" is a big component to losing weight and maintaining it.

Successful people do not fall off the wagon less. They just get back on it faster.

Consistency requires making an effort most of the time. I know this seems easier said than done. And, it is!

But, that is where our mindset comes in. Far too long, we have looked at weight loss as a temporary thing. Diet implies brevity. A short term solution. Actions we take for just a short while until we reach our goal.

And this is not our fault. The diet industry has promoted this behavior. Offering fast results in short periods of time or weight loss plans that require drastic dietary changes that can never be sustained.

The truth is, a consistent effort must be made indefinitely in order to get results and maintain them.

Simplified: you must make it a lifestyle.

This does not mean you have to give it 100% everyday, all day. This means, you must be making an effort everyday.

The definition of effort: a vigorous or determined attempt

For example, when we are learning to ride a bike as children, we attempt to ride a bike. Our success depends on our number of attempts and our degree of effort.

Degrees of effort are just that. Some days, we are going to be fully committed. Others, we barely have time or the mental capacity to give just a small effort.

The important part is the attempt at effort. And, is that not how we approach everything in life? We cannot give 100% every day. We make an effort, but some days are just more productive than others.

Again, this is not our fault. Life happens and those happenings often derail our plans. More on this topic and ways to overcome willpower fatigue here.

The key is to begin each day with the motive to make an effort. Soon, you will be riding that bike!

Another important part of being consistent is how we mentally frame our effort.

  • Approach it as a lifestyle change

  • Be positive: never think of the effort you are making as a punishment

  • Drop the "all or nothing" thoughts. If you fall off the wagon, brush yourself off and get back on.

  • Don't make it hard or consistency will never last

  • Avoid the "free day" or "cheat day" mentality. You are in this for life. Why would you cheat?

If we look at effort as a scale to consistency then there are no cheat days. There are only days in which effort was lower on the scale.

Using a scale of effort can help. A scale 1-10: 1 being low effort and 10 being maximum effort.

A 10 on the effort scale may look like this: you meal prep, go to the gym, track your calories on a phone app, and get 100 ounces of water.

A 1 on the effort scale may look like this: you only ate one donut (not 3) and you did not go back for seconds at the restaurant.

The reality is, we will have more 1-9 days than we will have 10s. But, as with anything we attempt to achieve, consistency is the key to achievement.

When it comes to weight loss, we tend to take an all or nothing approach. When we are making big effort, we are happy and therefore consistent. But, one low day on the effort scale, and we are immediately discouraged.

Give yourself grace to have "bad" days and learn to reset your efforts instead of becoming discouraged and giving up.

Learning to jump back on the wagon quicker insures you reach your destination faster!

Staying positive is crucial to ongoing effort. Having a pity party only makes our effort feel like punishment. Remember why you are losing weight, focus on your goals and how achieving those goals will make you feel.

Keep it simple. Taking baby steps can help. Make one change at a time and do not overwhelm yourself with a multitude of things you need to accomplish in order to feel you made an effort.

Make a list of changes you want to make. Start with the easiest and when you have conquered that change, move to the next. Our brains are programmed for encouragement, motivation, and sustained effort when we see results. Checking off the list of changes, can boost our motivation and increase our effort.

Make this a life long commitment. I have never met someone who lost weight and never once thought about it, struggled with it, or saw a fluctuation in their weight ever again.

For most of us, it is an ongoing struggle. I think the struggle comes from failing to see it as a lifestyle.

And, the best way to make the new you a reality is through consistency.

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If you are in my area, I have moved to a new clinic in Jonesboro. You can call our main number, 870-936-8000 for directions and an appointment.

As always, I look forward to helping you on your weightloss journey and your new life!


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1 Comment

Such a good post! I’m going to make this a weekly read to remind myself that this is a daily effort, not a “1 and done” approach. Thanks Angie! Looking forward to the next post.

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