So you’ve been exercising for years and still aren’t losing as much weight as you’d expect? Get this: Science is now telling you to have more fun and to see better results. A new French and American research study is now suggesting people may lose more weight during physical activity that feels more like playtime than a torture session at the gym. This study suggests that your attitude toward physical activity influence what you eat after a workout and ultimately whether or not you drop pounds.
Many people who start exercising do not lose as much weight as expected. In fact, some people actually gain weight after starting a workout routine despite the extra calories burned at the gym. Here’s why: A lot of people who push their physical limits eat whatever they’d like after an intense gym visit. Previous studies have explained this phenomenon as an increase of appetite hormones post sweat session—that people really were ravenous after working hard. While this may explain the physiological part of it, this new study is hoping to prove that psychology can explain the rest. (Try these 7 ways to keep your appetite in check.)
Scientists recruited 56 overweight women and tasked them to complete the same one-mile outdoor course, with lunch to follow. Half of the women were told that this course will be rigorous exercise and to monitor their exertion levels. The rest were told that this is meant to be a walk for pleasure where they can listen to music and enjoy themselves. Upon completion of the course, the women were asked to estimate her mileage, calorie expenditure, and mood. Women in the first group reported feeling much grumpier and more fatigued even though the two groups estimates of mileage and calories burned were almost identical. (more…)
You know the little star stickers we used to get on our charts in pre-school? Maybe it was for completing a task like tying our shoes or writing our name. Didn’t it feel good to get those stickers? What about when you got older? Anyone ever do the “Book It!” program? Reading books equaled free Pizza Hut pizza and it was worth every minute of sounding out those words.
There were lots of incentives to press through challenges when we were younger, but not so much as we age. But just because we’re older doesn’t mean our reaction to reward has changed. Health Rally knows this and has created an inspiring program for achieving health goals with the dangling carrot of reward as the incentive.
Zach Lynch founded Health Rally, an online support network, based on a pretty amazing statistic. According to a study in the journal American Medical Association, dieters with a financial incentive to lose weight were almost five times more likely to lose weight than those with no reward incentive. Furthermore, participants in this study who received financial rewards lost more than 13 pounds in 16 weeks, compared to an average loss of only 3.9 pounds in the control group.
From the time we are children we are encouraged to do things with some sort of bribe. Eating all of your dinner means you can have dessert. Cleaning your room means you can stay up late. Making good grades means a free ride to college. Making more sales for your company means a higher salary. So it seems natural that we’d want some sort of reward for losing weight and eating right.
New research from Humana confirms that “59% of Americans would be more motivated to exercise regularly if they were rewarded.” These rewards aren’t just a latte from your favorite coffee shop, but larger prizes and gifts like airline tickets, movie passes, music downloads, or even hotel stays.
This raises an important question – isn’t your health the prize? Isn’t looking better and feeling stronger the prize? Isn’t getting off of diabetes medication, high blood pressure medication, and cholesterol lowering medication and saving thousands of dollars a year the prize? (more…)
It’s true for anyone trying to lose weight that if you keep your routine fresh and interesting then you’ll continue on a path toward success. On season two episode two of Style Network’s “Ruby,” the Savannah sweetheart finds herself in an all-too-familiar rut. Ruby’s trainers aren’t moving her far enough beyond her comfort zone and the monotony of treadmill and weight routines is weighing on her.
Ruby seeks outside advice, which pits the professionals in her life against one another. And as is Ruby’s style, she leans on her support group of friends to help her sort through the trainer confusion.
When you are in a habit of rewarding yourself with food treats for a job well done, what do you do when those treats no longer fit in your daily diet? After all, when you are trying to lose weight, it goes against all you are working toward to celebrate that five pound weight loss with a big slab of cheesecake. (Not to say that it may not taste delicious, but that slab of cheesecake might set you back more than 500 calories – are you ready to run for an hour to burn that off?) As you work to lose weight, staying motivated can become very difficult. Here are some non-food ways to reward all of your hard work:
When explaining the formation of a habit, I mentioned reinforcing behavior that you want to encourage. Our behavior is shaped by the consequences of our choices. Behaviorism discusses positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment as the major ways to shape behavior. In this theory, positive means adding something to a situation, negative means removing something from a situation, reinforcement is used to encourage a behavior, and punishment is used to discourage a behavior. (more…)
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