armed when you’re in your lifelong maintenance phase. Also, consider learning to meditate or practice relaxation. One 2009 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that learning relaxation training skills helped a group of women significantly reduce their episodes of emotional eating.
3. You try to go it alone.
Self-help is a noble undertaking, but you’ll lose more weight if you do it with the help of others. One study found that people on a structured commercial weight loss program lost three times more weight than those who tried to do it solo. Having a cheering section or someone with whom you can share problems and tips can not only help you stay the course, it can help reduce the stress that can cause you to overeat. Plus, if you’ve already convinced yourself that diets don’t work, having a positive buddy along for the ride can be a major boost.
Fix: If you’ve already chosen Nutrisystem, you’ve increased your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Nutrition counselors are standing by to encourage you, offer you good advice and cheer you back on the wagon if you fall off. If you haven’t signed up for the Nutrisystem weight loss program already, do so with a spouse, partner or friend. Check out Nutrisystem’s great Refer a Friend program, which offers great discounts when you sign up with a buddy.
4. You aren’t exercising.
While studies have shown that exercise isn’t as important as cutting calories in losing weight, it’s one of four major factors in weight maintenance among the thousands of successful losers in the National Weight Control Registry, an ongoing study of how people keep off the weight they’ve lost. An awe-inspiring 90 percent of them exercise about an hour a day. Most of them aren’t running marathons either—they walk. Another bonus for exercising? Regular low-intensity exercise like walking reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to overeating… a precursor to the whole diets don’t work theory.
Fix: Find an activity you enjoy doing and do it every day. Walking is one of the most convenient exercises: You can do it anywhere, from your neighborhood, the local track or the mall. It requires only one piece of equipment: A good pair of sneakers. You can even change it up at will, walking longer or faster, taking it indoors at the mall or outdoors at a nearby park with a dog or with a friend. It’s so versatile, you can turn walking into hiking and climbing, too. The important thing is to find something active that you love doing so it’s not just another dreaded task on your to-do list.
5. You’re a diet perfectionist.
Successful maintainers excuse a slip-up now and again and just pick up their healthy choices afterward. For perfectionists, one extra slice of chocolate cake is a catastrophe that makes them throw up their hands, berate themselves for their weakness and quit dieting altogether. That “all or nothing” attitude is a weight loss killer. It sabotages your efforts in many ways, including convincing you that you can’t possibly lose weight and also eat chocolate, leading to a death spiral of deprivation. It’s no wonder these folks assume that diets don’t work.
Fix: Give yourself a break. One mistake is not a catastrophe. Accept that you’ve strayed a bit from the plan and move on. One small slip-up won’t derail your diet but if you throw up your hands in defeat and allow it to escalate to a full-blown binge, it certainly will. Also, be sure to keep recording your intake using the NuMi app. Seeing what you’ve eaten every day is a great way to hold yourself accountable,
6. You let your scale gather dust.
Granted, stepping on the scale, particularly after a weekend, is daunting. But self-monitoring is an important factor in the success of the ‘biggest losers’ on the National Weight Control Registry. They weigh themselves once a week and more than half continue to track their food intake daily even though they’re in the maintenance phase, not the losing phase.
Fix: Follow the losers’ lead. Weigh yourself regularly. It’s much easier to lose a few pounds than a weight gain of 10 or 15 pounds. Make sure to keep track of your food, as well. Apps like NuMi are super easy and convenient. One 2014 Arizona State University study found you’re more likely to track your daily intake if you use one.
This content is sponsored by Nutrisystem.