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Common Challenges: Top culprits that can squash your weight loss

Most of my blogs are based off of current research or are responses to questions asked by people in and outside of the Kindred Community.  For today, though, let’s change it up a bit and discuss constraints or obstacles I see in my current practice. My clients are very motivated and for the most part are very successful but when analyzing each client there are specific culprits that challenge every client’s success.  I figured if it’s happening within the Kindred Community it's most likely happening outside of it. Let's discuss the white elephant in the room, shall we?
1.        Foregoing the food diary:
Let’s face it.  Keeping a food diary is a complete drag.  It’s time consuming and it holds you accountable to all those little morsels you drank or ate that are easily forgotten.  Unfortunately, this is exactly why I recommend keeping a food diary.  You can’t get to where you want to go without knowing where you came from.  Once you keep a journal and are able to assess your intake it’s easier to implement changes.  I suggest working with myfitnesspal.com.  This is a great tool that allows you to see calorie ranges for an enormous amount of food.    I also recommend working with a Registered Dietitian, of course.  Only a Registered Dietitian is qualified to look at your current intake, physical activity, and co-morbidities to define the appropriate calorie goal.    The proof is in the pudding with this one.  Research completed by Kaiser Permante showed that people who kept food diaries lost up to DOUBLE the amount of weight than those who didn’t keep food diaries. 

2.        Expecting exercise to be the magic bullet:
Let me say this loud and clear.  It’s not that I don’t think exercise is extremely beneficial and important, but the thing is, exercise should primarily be thought of as an activity geared towards heart health rather than an answer to weight loss.  Exercise has many benefits which include increasing HDL (the good cholesterol), producing endorphins that can combat depression, anxiety, and stress, and assisting to control blood glucose levels but if you don’t change what you are eating, your exercise may only help you maintain weight.  On average most individuals burn approximately 100 calories per mile of exercise.  If you walk two miles in thirty minutes you are only burning 200 calories.   Even if you are eating the exact calories your body needs to function, burning 200 calories a day will only yield a .4 pound weight loss a week.  How many of you feel confident that you are eating the exact calories recommended for you?  Exercise can supplement weight loss, but it is not the sole answer.  You still need to look at your diet.

3.        Buddy Up:
This is something I stress with all my clients.  Changing your lifestyle is a hard feat and it only gets harder the older you are.  Habits are strong and the longer they’ve been intact the harder they may be to change.  It’s important that this is acknowledged and understood in order to move forward.  It’s also important to accept the fact that since this is a large feat, it is hard to do it alone.  My most successful clients are those who have their family and friends on board.  Research shows that those who work with others with a good support system such as Jenny Craig lose 10% of weight loss the first year and 8% the second year.  The University of Pennsylvania completed a research study that showed that 95% of people who buddied up during weight loss stuck with the program verse 76% who attempted alone and that 66% maintained weight loss verse 24% who did not have the support or buddy. Be vocal, get support, and be successful.

Changing your lifestyle is a big deal.  Congratulations on making the commitment and avoid these pitfalls that could squash your success.  Good luck and be well.
The keys to success

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