Weight-Loss Programmes Most Effective When Hosted In A Church
The key to a successful diet plan could lie in denomination, not determination, a recent study suggests, after it discovered that weight-loss programmes are more successful if the meetings take place in a church.
A group of American researchers discovered that a woman's dieting success can vary with the location of her weight-loss meetings and her personal level of dieting experience.
The study, published in the Journal of Black Psychology, monitored two groups of women aged 18 to 55 who were in the same weight-loss programme. Of these 55 women, 19 met together at a church and 36 met at a local university.
After 13 weeks, researchers found that the women meeting in the church had lost more weight than those who met at a university.
Researchers Tracy Sbrocco, Robyn Osborn, Robert D. Clark, Chiao-Wen Hsiao and M.Carter believe that the reason behind the weight-loss success was down to the women being in familiar surroundings of the church, meaning they were more likely to open up and lend or receive encouragement and support.
"Church-based groups have a built-in social support system that allows members to see each other, check in, and follow up on behavior changes," explain the authors.
"Whereas individuals who attended the university often rushed into groups as they began and left as soon as the groups ended, individuals in the church setting were more likely to linger before and after group times."
Researchers also found that women who had changed their eating and exercise regime for the first time lost more weight than those who had experience in weight management and dieting.
The study claims this is because women with a dieting past are less likely to seek and accept social support from others and find it harder to shake off bad habits.
How To Stay Motivated On Your Diet
Expert tips from <a href="http://www.slimmingworld.com/" target="_hplink">Slimming World</a> obesity expert, <strong>Dr. James Stubbs</strong> and Dr. Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan from <a href="http://www.drweightloss.com/" target="_hplink">The Weight Loss Doctor</a>.
"Slimmers who join with like-minded people with similar goals and problems - whether online, in social media networks or in a local community group - are more likely to stay motivated to succeed. They benefit from sharing experiences and taking inspiration and motivation from fellow slimmers to help them lose weight. Getting support is crucial to having the tools to cope with small weight gains and stay on track without giving up," says Dr James Stubbs, obesity researcher for <a href="http://www.slimmingworld.com/" target="_hplink">Slimming World</a>.
Don't Get Too Hung Up On Weight
"Don't get too hung up on your weight measurements. A common cause of giving up on losing weight, is when people look at the scales and get disappointed with their progress. This all ties in with having deadlines and wanting to lose weight urgently. The scales don't always show the results of your efforts straight away. Weight also goes up and down due to other factors like hormones, hydration and your last meal. Don't read too much into one weight measurement. You should be looking at the overall trend. If you are sure that you are doing the right things (eating less and being more active) then the results will definitely come. Be patient," says Dr. Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan, from <a href="http://www.theweightlossdoctor.co.uk/" target="_hplink">The Weight Loss Doctor</a>.
Don't Expect Perfection
"For some reason, when people try and lose weight, they have this belief that they need to stick to their new regime perfectly. This is part of the diet mentality and it is very harmful. It means that people who have a "bad day" often feel like they have failed. And in the worst scenario it makes them want to give up. But this expectation of perfection is totally unrealistic. You should expect to have "bad days". Don't beat yourself up over them. A normal life includes days when you eat a bit more and days when you eat a bit less. The main thing to remember is that after days when you have a bit more, you need to get back on track as soon as possible," says Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan, from <a href="http://www.theweightlossdoctor.co.uk/" target="_hplink">The Weight Loss Doctor</a>.
Do It Yourself
"Do it for yourself: Being told to lose weight by someone else scores low as a motivator. Although being told by your GP that your health is at risk can be the shock that sets you on the weight loss road. "Setting your own target weight and losing weight for the reasons that suit you, when they suit you makes all the difference to success. Getting praise from fellow slimmers or colleagues for weight loss achievements is a great boost to help stay on track because it gives a sense of achievement, so spurring you on," says Dr James Stubbs, obesity researcher at <a href="http://www.slimmingworld.com/" target="_hplink">Slimming World</a>.
Make It Easy For Yourself
"Make things as easy as possible. It might not sound like a revelation, but the more unpleasant you make your weight loss programme, the less likely you will stick to it. This seems like common sense but so many people still believe in the "no pain - no gain" approach. This might work for a few people, but for most of us, we are much more likely to succeed if we make things as pain-free as possible. How do you do that? Make small changes each week that you know you can maintain. Instead of setting the bar too high and failing, if you make small changes each week, you get a track record of success behind you," says Dr. Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan from <a href="http://www.theweightlossdoctor.co.uk/" target="_hplink">The Weight Loss Doctor</a>.