THE SECRET to losing weight and keeping it off is to change bad habits for good, according to a weight maintenance expert.
Exercise and eating better are the popular actions people adopt to try and lose weight – but those who also form new habits tend to lose more.
A new study published by the International Journal of Obesity suggests that good habits are the real key to successful weight loss management.
Their findings are supported by Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh, a behaviour change psychologist and creator of the FIT (Focused Integrative Training) method who specialises in helping people lose weight – and keep it off.
“This is an exciting time in the field of weight loss maintenance,” said Dr Aria, who specialised in this field at University College London.
“This latest study adds to a growing body of evidence that indicates healthy habits can make the difference between someone keeping weight off and regaining it.”
He added: “knowing the eating and exercise behaviours required for weight loss is not the same as having a healthy pattern of eating or active lifestyle.”
“Studies in psychology provide compelling evidence that our actions are shaped by our subconscious thoughts and surrounding environment.”
Dr Aria’s clients are encouraged to adopt healthy habits including have a regular meal routine, eating from a smaller plate and concentrating on what they’re eating rather than being distracted by using their phones or watching television.
New habit formation is an integral part of the FIT programme, which looks at the individual’s mindset and emotional attachment to food.
“The advantage of habits is that they require minimal willpower or effort,” he said.
“Once an action is a habit, it becomes an automatic part of your day and is more resistant to change.”
After years of working in the NHS with patients with a range of problems including weight and self-perception issues, Dr Aria now works closely with clients who participate in the FIT programme.
He has found that by creating some easily achieved new habits, people can make a huge difference to keeping their weight down.
- Choose a simple action that you can do daily, for instance going for a 10 minute walk.
- Plan when and where you’ll do this. If you’re used to coming back after work and rummaging through the kitchen cupboards for crisps and biscuits, this could be going for a short walk once you arrive home at 5.30pm.
- Every time it’s 5.30pm and you arrive home, put on your trainers and go for a short walk, come rain or shine. Within 9 to 10 weeks you should find that this has become second nature and you’re doing it automatically, rather than mindlessly grazing on snacks.
For further information visit www.dr-aria.com