Are You Really Ready to Start a Weight Loss Plan?

 

Every year millions of people begin a weight loss plan, but very few find long-term success. In fact, 90-95% of of individuals who initially lose weight will end up gaining it back within 5 years [1]. The road to permanent weight loss is long and requires a substantial amount of time and effort to be successful. The true key to success is viewing a weight loss journey as a marathon rather than a sprint – it takes time, effort and dedication to achieve lasting weight loss results. In most cases, failure isn’t due to lack of effort, it is due to a lack of readiness. For successful, permanent weight loss, one must first set realistic goals and, most importantly, be ready to make a life-long commitment to change their lifestyle habits. But before anyone begins a weight loss journey, the most important question to ask is, “am I ready?”

 

Without a true sense of readiness to achieve health goals, you may be setting yourself up for failure. There are 5 different stages of readiness that everyone cycles through when they are in the process of making lifestyle changes. Please note that it is not unusual for people to relapse during any stage and move through the cycle 3-4 times before they achieve successful, permanent behavioral change.

 

The 5 Stages of Readiness include:

  • Precontemplation: Individuals have no intention of making any changes yet. Precontemplators often deny having a problem or feel that the current situation is hopeless.
  • Contemplation: Individuals recognize that there is a problem and begin thinking about solutions, even though they may not take action yet. Some people may be stuck in this stage for years.
  • Preparation: Individuals intend to make changes within the next month. Goals are created created during this stage.
  • Action: Individuals have successfully changed behavior for at least 6 months. This stage requires the most energy and commitment.
  • Maintenance: Individuals actively work to maintain changes and prevent relapses. Maintaining change is a long, ongoing process that is critical to long-term success.

 

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When you feel that you are truly ready to begin a weight loss journey and find yourself in the preparation stage, it is important to set goals that can serve as your own personal road map. The purpose of a goal is to provide meaning for something you want to achieve, by influencing how the behavior is viewed and performed. When creating your personal goals, you need to make sure that they are S.M.A.R.T.

 

Specific – what do you want to accomplish?

Measurable – how can you demonstrate or evaluate that you met your goal?

Achievable – is it something you know you can accomplish?

Relevant – is your goal important to you?

Time Bound – when do you want to accomplish your goal by?

Below are good and bad examples of creating goals.

GOOD EXAMPLES BAD EXAMPLES
To eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day. To be healthier.
To lose 15 pounds by Feb. 1 To lose weight
To lift weights two times a week for a month. To lift weights more often.

 

Being ready to make permanent lifestyle changes and setting realistic weight loss goals are key to ensuring successful and sustainable weight loss. At Verve Health, we provide participant’s access to our dedicated team of doctors, practitioners, nurses and certified health coaches. This team works with each participant individually to provide optimal support and guidance in the  identification of behavioral change readiness and the creation of custom-tailored goals that will ultimately help each participant achieve the best health possible.

 

**Remember, with any weight loss plan, we recommend that you always speak with your physician prior to beginning.

 

References

[1] http://livehealthy.chron.com/reasons-weight-loss-programs-fail-4040.html