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Dared, we ask how your attempts to lose weight have been going. Call for backup if you are veering from the treadmill’s intended path. That’s okay, though; it happens to the best of us. But we’re here to help get you back on track and remind you that it takes more than a physical effort to achieve your goals.
To help you lose weight, we looked to scientific research for answers. With these pointers, you can pick yourself up by the straps of your sports bra (or tank top) and return to your routine in no time.
1. Put an End to Your Model-Based Obsession
You might sabotage your weight loss efforts if you are fascinated with before-and-after photographs and only follow models on Instagram or have taped a photo of a skinny model in your cupboard to prevent yourself from reaching for a cookie.
In a study published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing in December 2012, researchers found that women who were handed weight loss diaries featuring a slender model on the cover and every page did not lose weight and, in some cases, gained weight.
2. You Should Bet on It
Bet on it if you want a surefire method of dropping pounds. A Mayo Clinic study from 2013 suggests that financial incentives can help people stick to their weight loss goals. Those in the weight loss group who were also offered monetary incentives, such as cash rewards for meeting goals and having to pay into a pot of money if they missed the mark, lost significantly more weight than those in the control group who were only offered weight loss education and behavior modification programs. Participants in the money groups shed an average of 9.08 pounds, whereas their non-money group counterparts lost only 2.34 pounds.
3. Partner Up for Exercise
Get with a bodybuilder ASAP! A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania followed 217 graduate students who participated in free exercise programs offered at the campus gym. What happened was that some people got inspirational movies and visuals with exercise advice. The second group was integrated into social networks, where members shared information about their fitness progress. After 13 weeks, the study indicated that the promotional messages increased gym visits by a small amount, but the motivation did not last.
4. Stop using Marijuana
Smoke a little, enjoy the high, and then hand me the pipe. Long-term marijuana users have been shown to create less dopamine, the brain chemical linked to motivation, according to research published in July 2013 by Imperial College London. The good news is that the study’s authors believe the effects can be reversed by giving up both smoking and eating cannabis brownies.
5. Refrain From Lighting Up
Your lungs and brain communicate the same message: You should stop smoking. According to research published in Respirology, not only do smokers become less active, but they also get lazier because they lose their urge to quit.
6. Meet Together with Others Who Are Also Trying to Slim Down
The decision to lose weight can spread quickly across a group of people. At least, that’s what researchers at Penn State found when they examined weight loss competitions between teams in the journal Obesity. Members of each group who had shed at least five percent of their starting weight were more likely to be clustered together. As a result, the study authors concluded that being in the company of individuals who are also trying to lose weight can be pretty motivating.
7. Ignore Your Fitness Tracker at Your Own Risk
Fitness trackers aren’t necessarily the best accountability partners. The University of Pittsburgh conducted a study on the effectiveness of activity monitors for weight loss and concluded that they were ineffective.
Over two years, those who wore the trackers and took part in a behavioral weight-loss program lost less weight than those who took part in the program alone. Those who used trackers dropped an average of 7.7 pounds, whereas those who only received health counseling lost an average of 13 pounds.
8. Please Recite These Words
If you want to improve your time on the treadmill or your flexibility on the yoga mat, try giving yourself a little pep talk. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology reveals, however, that there is a precise word you must employ to encourage yourself.
9. It’s Not a Weight-Related Issue
Here’s one more trick you may play on your brain to get you motivated. Avoid using weight as a measure of success. Instead, suppose you want to reduce weight.
In that case, a study published in December 2013 by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business suggests focusing on having fun while exercising. Maintaining your motivation can be accomplished by keeping your thoughts on the positive aspects of your workout, such as how much fun you are having on the dance floor or on the bike.
10. Declare yourself a “Healthy Eater”
It’s a piece of cake, right? Refer to yourself as a “healthy eater.” The discussion is over. A study published in the journal Self & Identity found that people who strongly identify with a specific role begin to take on the characteristics of that function. Take this into consideration: “You are what you consume.”