Motivation is the key to successful weight loss
Weight loss is a gradual process where various factors such as types of foods to be eaten, amount and intensity of exercise required to burn off calories, biological factors like metabolism play an important role. Motivation and determination to stick to a weight loss program is equally significant, says a new study.
The relationship between motivation and maintaining a weight loss program was studied by the researchers from the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a 16-week intervention program. This study has been published in the May/June 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
In order to identify the source of motivation for weight loss, 66 participants were given a “Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire” five separate times over the course of the study. The participants` food intake, exercise and body weight were recorded on a weekly basis.
Autonomous and controlled are the two basic types of motivations. In case of autonomous motivation, a person can make choices to bring about changes for personal reasons without any outside pressure while for controlled motivation; the feeling to change comes from others.
In this study, 37 of the 66 participants lost five percent of their initial body weight. Participants with autonomous motivation were found to be more successful in sustaining their weight loss program. These participants were better at self-monitoring behaviors, especially between weeks four and eight when the motivation to diet starts to decline.
Determination and discipline plays an important role in losing weight. Excessive weight gain could be a result of health problems, sedentary lifestyle or improper eating habits. It is important to plan a diet and exercise plan that is realistic enough to achieve and should be goal-oriented. Achieving these goals could result in successful weight loss.
Also read: 10 steps to successful weight loss
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