Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to Stay Motivated and Keep on Losing

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What motivates people to start losing weight is often not enough to keep them motivated. As weight loss progresses, new reasons to con- tinue are often needed. Both women and men seem to be spurred on by seeing the physical results of weight loss, but many women also need more in terms of positive emotional feedback in order to reach their ultimate weight goals.
Based on Weight Watchers research, we conclude that men whose weight loss is triggered by a health problem tend to become even more motivated when they see the positive physical effects that come with weight loss.
Lowering blood pressure, dropping a couple of pounds a week, no longer needing to take medicine for diabetes— all those results seem to rev guys up and make them want to keep losing. And whats particularly inspirational for guys (but not so much for women) is the immediate gratification they often get from physical results. Thats because, as we learned in chapter 5, men are biologically programmed to lose more weight than women and to lose it at a faster rate. And since many of the health problems men expe- rience are improved by losing weight (sometimes as little as 10 pounds), they often get quicker results and therefore more positive reinforcement.Like men, women are also motivated by successful physical results such as lowered blood pressure or blood sugar, particularly if prevent- ing or alleviating a health problem triggered their commitment to los- ing weight in the first place. But seeing the needle on the scale go down is what seems to keep most women motivated. Because it often takes women a bit longer to lose weight than men, though, many women need something else to keep their weight-loss motiva- tion high—women need to feel better emotionally, too. Since women tend to be emotionally tuned into their weight and are concerned about how others view them, they are often motivated by positive feedback. Women thrive on recognition or acknowledgment from
others—a spouse, friends, coworkers, and others—that they are los-
ing weight and that they are doing well. Most women rejoice on hear- ing compliments about how much thinner they look. Whereas men certainly enjoy receiving compliments and public recognition, that feedback doesnt appear to be as great a motivator for them as it is for women.
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