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Recognizing behaviors and modifying for success.

Updated: Feb 19

Greater than 85% of people who have successful weight loss will regain that weight loss within three to five years after the diet(Brownell and Kramer, 1994; Klem et al., 1997). These numbers are staggering and might be discouraging to read if you’re considering a weight loss program. Before you turn the page on this article, let’s look at the potential reasons why long term success is so rare and what to modify in order to maintain your ideal body composition.


It’s often said that diet is “all mindset”. I wholeheartedly agree that the process does require the proper mindset. Weight gain is influenced by many things such as behaviors that we've developed in response to stress, traditions from our ethical background, mimicking eating habits of our parents, a lack of understanding for energy needs and a lack of exercise. It is not impossible to modify behavior or change your lifestyle as long as the proper strategies are in place.


After interviewing clients, I like to give them a bit of “homework” to do. One part of this is monitoring dietary choices such as the time of day they’re eating, what they’re eating and how they felt before and after they ate. This task allows the person a source of accountability and is generally accompanied by a reduction in food intake. This is assumed this response is due to the awareness of what is being consumed as well as having another person look at the choices being made. This information is not to reprimand an individual, it is to recognize factors, both personal and environmental, that influence dietary choice. These choices will allow us to dictate the program requirements and improve odds for long term success.


When monitoring food intake, not all people recognize their consumption as eating too much. Many people report low-Calorie intakes daily with an inability to lose weight. The cornerstone to weight gain is when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. We must consider physical activity and the impact it has on expenditure and hunger stimulation. In addition to monitoring food intake, it is important to look at the individual's physical activity. As a society, we have become increasingly less active due to advances in technology and changes in social interactions and communication. It is not uncommon for someone to be seated longer than they are on their feet while awake. If you’re a sedentary individual, it is suggested that slow gradual increases in physical activity weekly, until you have achieved thirty minutes of physical activity daily is ideal for weight maintenance. It has been shown that breaking up sessions into smaller, more manageable bouts has improved success (Jakicic et al., 1995, Pate et al., 1995). This is important to note if you are ultra motivated to step into the gym. While motivation is a great tool, consider the effects of overtraining your muscles in the first few days. This may cause severe muscle soreness and may alter your willingness to return to the gym. We want to avoid physical activity being perceived as unpleasant. When constructing your protocol for physical activity, consider the lasting commitment to your health. One of my favorite quotes by Vince Lomaridi (go pack go) “The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there”.


The environment in which we occupy may have a profound impact on our dietary choices and may contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. If you work in an office setting that is constantly ordering out, having junk food delivered or there is birthday daily, this may resonate with you. More often than not, people spend a large amount of their week in the workplace. Making this one of the most common environments to impact food selection. Not all people who struggle with weight gain work in a sedentary environment. More often than not, it is the jobs that require long hours of constant attention, physical expenditure and stress that have a higher probability of making poor nutritional choices. Conversely, those reporting access to a cafeteria, snack bar, or food services offering fresh fruits and vegetables and those who found these items to be affordable were less likely to consume fast food more than twice a week (Dodson et al 2016). Where are my mechanics, carpenters, nurses or doctors? Does this sound like you?

It’s often said that diet is “all mindset”. I wholeheartedly agree that the process does require the proper mindset. Weight gain is influenced by many things such as behaviors that we've developed in response to stress, traditions from our ethical background, mimicking eating habits of our parents, a lack of understanding of energy needs and a lack of exercise. It is not impossible to modify behavior or change your lifestyle as long as the proper strategies are in place.

There are many facets to improving your body composition. As a biased statement, if you’re looking for a personal and individualized approach, I suggest hiring a coach with experience that aligns with your goals. However, here are a few tips that will help modify any existing behaviors that may be impacting your ability to lose body fat.

The environment in which we occupy may have a profound impact on our dietary choices and may contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. If you work in an office setting that is constantly ordering out, having junk food delivered or there is birthday daily, this may resonate with you. More often than not, people spend a large amount of their week in the workplace. Making this one of the most common environments to impact food selection. Not all people who struggle with weight gain work in a sedentary environment. More often than not, it is the jobs that require long hours of constant attention, physical expenditure, and stress that have a higher probability of making poor nutritional choices. Conversely, those reporting access to a cafeteria, snack bar, or food services offering fresh fruits and vegetables and those who found these items to be affordable were less likely to consume fast food more than twice a week (Dodson et al 2016). Where are my mechanics, carpenters, nurses or doctors? Does this sound like you?


There are many facets to improving your body composition. As a biased statement, if you’re looking for a personal and individualized approach, I suggest hiring a coach with experience that align with your goals. However, here are a few tips that will help modify any existing behaviors that may be impacting your ability to lose body fat.


• Consume regular meals during the day. 3 meals with 2-3 small snacks between. Routine is the foundation in which managing weight is built.

• Pack your food for the day.

• Use zip-lock bags to control portions.

• Think protein first when constructing a meal. Not only does protein take more energy to digest, but it also allows for greater satiety.

• Learn how to measure portion sizes.

• Avoid vending machines and sugary beverages.

• If you stop for breakfast for high-Calorie food while en route to work, take an alternative route to avoid these fast-food type establishments.

• Don’t shop on an empty stomach.

• Use the stairs before the elevator when possible.

• While approaching a store, park farther from the door.

• Carve out time in your schedule to dedicate to physical activity.

•If you find yourself sitting for too long, get up and move around!


If you would like assistance in getting you closer to your body composition goals, we want to help! Click on the “sign up” tab at the top and submit your questionnaire today.




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