As registered dietitians and personal trainers who specialize in sustainable weight loss, we find that people are always surprised to learn the three things that our clients with the most weight loss success have in common. Most people think that people who are successful at shedding pounds must have amazing willpower.
However, our clients with the most success have three other things in common that completely take willpower out of the picture. In fact, when it comes to fat loss success (and keeping it off in the long haul), our clients admit that relying on willpower was what prevented them from achieving their weight loss goals in the past.
People who lose weight temporarily can have many things in common. Those who lose weight & KEEP IT OFF have these 3 things in common.
Watch the video or read below, which has been adapted from the video transcript.
For long-lasting weight loss, our most successful clients do this…
#1 They record what they eat.
When we first started out as registered dietitians and we launched our business, we had our clients keep a food diary. Those that did, were the ones that had the most weight loss success.
And after they had met their weight loss goals, when we’d check in with them–three months later, a year later, and continue down the road, — they were the ones that had kept the weight off.
Soon after we saw this trend an important study came out showing that:
People who record what they eat lose TWICE as much weight as people who don’t.
A Nutrition Twins Weight Loss Journal Memory
When a study came out showing that people who kept a diary of what they ate lost two times more weight, a company called Day-Timer, which was known for their leather-bound journals, wanted to use our weight management system to help people lose weight because they had gotten word that the journaling that we were having our clients doing was very successful.
We teamed up with Day-Timers and sold our weight loss planners on QVC, on New Year’s Eve. We were on LIVE at midnight, 3 am, and 6 am. So even though it wasn’t our normal New Year’s Eve celebration, we still stayed up all night—and it was a cool experience we wouldn’t have traded.
Here’s why keeping a food journal of what you eat helps you double your weight loss success:
First, it makes you aware. Many of us eat and aren’t paying attention to how much we’ve eaten—or even to the fact that we’ve eaten at all! This isn’t the case once you start recording what you eat! You’ll be much more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth.
Sometimes, just recognizing that you’re eating can help you to realize you may not even need fuel (or even be hungry!) and can help you to put the kibosh on swallowing those extra calories.
The waistline benefits don’t stop there when you keep a weight loss food diary because you can also start to identify certain eating patterns that may be preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals. For instance, you may be able to discover what causes you to overeat.
This is something we help our clients with. We help them to see why they may be eating (or overeating) when they’re not truly hungry and even when they’re unaware that they’re consuming food, and we give them strategies to address these issues and prevent them from interfering with their weight loss (or health) goals.
Use your eating patterns to create weight loss strategies…
You can examine those patterns and see what’s happening. We do this with our clients and investigate to figure out what’s at the root of their cravings.
As you study your patterns, you’ll have information to dig in deeper and ask yourself questions like, “Am I eating because I’m stressed? “Am I eating out of boredom?” “Am I eating when I’m happy? Sad?” You get the idea. Once you have this information, you can create weight loss strategies.
Here’s an example of how this may work: You notice that you always seem to turn to a candy bar or to comfort food at 2 PM. When you dig deeper, you find that sometimes you’re truly hungry, and sometimes you’re not.
You may learn that you’re having a candy bar every afternoon because you didn’t have enough protein or enough fiber to keep you satisfied at your earlier meal, and you’re craving something because you need an energy pick-me-up and because you’re actually hungry. This could have been prevented with a more satisfying lunch.
Or maybe you’ll realize that you’re having a candy bar mid-afternoon because you’re craving a reward after a difficult day at work.
Or perhaps, you’ll uncover that you really should be having a candy bar at that time– maybe you haven’t had anything sweet all week and if you didn’t have a candy bar, you’d eat ten things instead of a candy bar trying to avoid eating the food that you truly wanted (the candy bar!).
For the record- avoiding foods that you like and never allowing yourself to enjoy them is not the answer when it comes to achieving sustainable weight loss. What a relief! 🙂
A Nutrition Twins fact…
The first time that we ever tried recording what we ate was when we were in college studying to become registered dietitians. We were taking one of our first “real” nutrition classes and we had to play the role of being one of our clients and practice recording what we ate.
Honestly, we thought it was a pain and we didn’t want to record everything, but we understood the value of it. After we did that, we were going to partner with a classmate and then help them to figure out what changes they could make with their nutrition and lifestyle habits to improve their health.
We were excited about it and as we were talking about it, Tammy grabbed a handful of nuts. After she finished eating them, Lyssie said, “Are you going to record what you ate?”
Tammy said, “Oh, yeah! I would’ve forgotten!”
Yep, she would have forgotten! 🙂 And that’s the thing. In today’s society, we’re so unaware of what we eat. And simply the act of recording it makes us aware.
Does keeping a food journal of what you eat hold you accountable?
You bet! In fact, we’ve had a lot of clients who’ve come to us and said, ” I just didn’t feel like writing it down, so I didn’t eat it!”
#2: The second thing our weight loss clients do that’s linked to long-term fat loss success…
They don’t focus on cutting out anything. Our successful weight loss clients know that when it comes to lasting weight loss it’s not about what they aren’t eating, like not eating carbs. It’s not about the keto diet or the Paleo diet. Weight loss success is about them feeling satisfied. And feeling satisfied long-term. It’s about what they do eat.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, this means they’re eating wholesome carbohydrates. They’re eating protein. They’re eating colorful foods that fuel their metabolism and that help the enzymatic pathways that get their body functioning better, and that also provide nutrients that their body can use to actually fuel weight loss and body fat loss—including belly fat.
When they’re focusing on delicious foods that nourish their body and not on lists of foods that they can’t eat, they feel empowered and energized. If they were focusing on avoiding foods, they’d feel drained. Focusing on food lists to avoid is just not emotionally satisfying!
How long are you going to be able to do that? For most people, the answer is- not very long!
Avoiding a whole food group (like carbs) may help you to lose weight initially, but long-term, if you’re like our clients who have tried doing that in the past, you’ll find that if you want to go out to dinner, eventually you’re not going to want to feel so limited.
Deprivation doesn’t equal lasting weight loss success.
Halleluyah! Because who wants to live in deprivation anyway?
Our most successful weight loss clients know relying on willpower & motivation for long-lasting fat loss doesn’t work.
Diets that set you up to feel deprived (with lists of foods to avoid) expect you to be perfect so they set you up to fail (who’s “perfect”? We’re certainly not!). There is no such thing as perfect. Our successful weight loss clients know this! So don’t beat yourself up for falling off track with one of these restrictive diets!
That plan wasn’t right for you. In fact, it’s not right for anyone, because life is too short to feel deprived all of the time. Sure, we can’t expect to lose weight and to be healthy eating pasta, burgers, and cookies all of the time, but we should be able to eat our favorite foods on occasion and lose weight! After all, that’s what we help our clients to do!
#3: The third thing our most successful weight loss clients do that’s linked to long-term fat loss is…
They embrace the fact that their body is unique. They know that if they truly want sustainable weight loss it’s not about a specific diet, it’s about getting their unique body to function at its peak (while eating healthy foods in a way that works specifically for them)
If your body’s not functioning optimally, you won’t be able to keep weight off or possibly even lose it in the first place, no matter how good your diet is.
Our most successful weight loss clients are aware that when their bodies are working efficiently, weight loss becomes easier. In fact, when they’re eating nourishing foods and they’re doing things like taking steps to lower inflammation, get more sound sleep, and change how their body responds to stress, that’s when seeing results and dropping pounds really starts to kick in.
That’s why we focus on helping them to get their bodies to function at their peak by increasing their personal energy levels, strengthening their immunity, making their metabolism more efficient, balancing cortisol and other hormones, and, reducing chronic inflammation so that it doesn’t get in the way of their weight loss. We do this as we help our clients to eat the foods that work for their unique bodies and that fit in their lifestyles.
When we asked one of our most successful clients the secret to her long-lasting weight loss she said…
“Like all of us, I’m unique. The Nutrition Twins showed me that I had to get my whole body working together as a system, and then the weight fell off. Now, I feel good on a daily basis, so it’s easy to take care of myself. Once the twins helped me to get my body working better and as we were adjusting my diet, I woke up feeling refreshed, my intense cravings went away and my cortisol levels dropped– and that’s when I finally lost the belly fat I could never lose!
It’s been a relief to know that I don’t have to follow one more diet. I know how to eat for me and my body and all the googling of different diets in the world will never get me what I know now.”
If you’re struggling with motivation or relying on willpower to get the weight loss (or health) results you want…
you don’t have to! We can help!
Grab our FREE guide to help you lose weight without relying on willpower!