New research implies that rapid, sustained, and long lasting weight loss comes not from focusing on a diet or exercise, but from shifting a focus to eating healthier and being more physically active; in other words a lifestyle change.
Approximately five years ago, according to Dr. Jenny Lahiff, public health researchers started noticing that people responded in a more positive manner when billboards and other public health messages used positive messaging such as eat more of this instead of dont eat that. Further work in the area has led to the discovery that while negative messaging, a traditional way of dealing with weight loss, can indeed lead to rapid weight loss, that the longer term solution is actually to use constructive, lifestyle changing messages that people can relate to.
At UC Berkeley this positive branding of lifestyle change has focused researchers to what many are calling the no diet, no exercise lifestyle program. Where research study subjects are told how to both improve their health and daily enjoyment through new daily activities and recipes and as a side effect they lose weight, lower their blood pressure, and have an overall increase in health and happiness.
For example, a recent study by the research group started their weight loss program by identifying activities or aspects of life that were a source of enjoyment, such as dogs, flowers, or cooking. After the group was divided up into their respective groups the remainder of the program involved meeting on a weekly basis and planning activities around those new aspects of life, with the goal of integrating this new hobby into daily living.
The results, according to Dr. Lahiff, speak for themselves. The average participant dropped 10% of their bodyweight in just 45 days, a weight loss previously only seen in traditional weight loss programs. But the real difference, published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of American Medical Association, was that the individuals were able to keep the weight off for as long as they maintained their newfound hobby; a result that has researchers and clinicians alike rethinking their approach to improving health and establishing a healthy weight.
For the participants, says Dr. Lahiff, they love the programs because now they either have a loving dog in their life, a new garden, or a new recipe book, who wouldnt want that?
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Hamilton Erridge is a weight loss professional. New Lifestyle Diet helps people lose weight and stay healthy by providing information and resources that help people make a lifestyle change so that the extra pounds shed are never put back on.