When it comes to setting weight loss goals, most dieters are unrealistic. Medical experts, concerned with adequate nutrition and physical and psychological health, recommend an average weight loss of a half to one pound per week. But dieters want nothing to do with that. They expect to lose at a rate twice as high, at a minimum.
Scientists have studied, at length, dieters’ expectations about losing weight. Dr. Thomas Wadden, Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania, found that even when patients were “informed repeatedly” that their weight loss goals were unrealistic, they still wanted to lose more than was recommended.
In another study, a group of women expected to lose 22 to 34 percent of their weight in six months, and when told that average weight loss is 8 to 10 percent during the first six months of dieting, they said that number was “unacceptable” and “disappointing.”
Patients undergoing gastric lap band surgery were no different. They expected to lose almost 100 percent of their excess weight when typical results are 20 to 25 percent.
But does it matter if a dieter’s weight loss goals are realistic? Apparently not.
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Imagine it’s the day you’ve been dreaming of—where you glance down at the scale and have finally reached your goal weight! Celebration is in order. But, if you’re on Jenny Craig, which supplies pretty much all of the food its dieters eat, the thought of learning to maintain your weight while making your own meals may make you anxious.
Don’t worry. Jenny Craig’s chief nutritionist, Lisa Talamini, is here to help you feel more confident about the transition.
According to Talamini, you already have the tools you need for success. Here’s why:
- On the plan, members learn to make healthy choices by adding grocery foods to their weekly planned menus. So, even though you’ve been eating packaged meals you’ve also been planning your eating schedule and supplementing with veggies and other purchased foods. You’ll keep doing the same thing, only with more cooking and less zapping!
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On Diets in Review, we talk a lot about weight loss. But what happens when you’ve reached your weight loss goal? Sure, you’re happy and proud of yourself and your new body, but chances are, you probably feel a little lost as to what to do and what to eat now that you don’t have that goal weight to focus on, right? Well, no worries. We have your five step guide to keeping you at your healthy weight and totally motivated!
5 Tips to Keep the Weight Off — And You Motivated
1. Splurge a little more (but be mindful). Now that you’re at your goal weight, you can be a little more lax with your diet, but remember that extra calories add up quickly (and that it’s a lot easier to eat calories than it is to burn them off). A good rule of thumb is to eat a diet that is 80/20, meaning that 80 percent of what you eat is nutritious and healthy, and 20 percent is the other maybe not-so-healthy food that you’re craving. If you ever start to put the pounds back on (and you should know if you do — see tip No. 5), switch your eating to 90/10 until you’re back at your happy weight. Also remember to keep portion sizes down and to savor every bite, being totally mindful of what you’re eating!
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