New Year’s resolutions: a lot of people make them but not many keep them. Getting fit and losing weight are two of the most common goals people set as the new year approaches. Unfortunately, only about 8% of people reach the goals they set.
Why do so many people’s weight loss efforts fail?
These eight research findings from 2018 shed new light on weight loss – and how to make it stick:
To get rid of excess weight, exercise should be combined with dietary changes. We’ve all heard it before: when it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise are an inseparable duo. Now we have more evidence that a good diet coupled with a regular fitness routine is a surefire match for optimal weight loss. A recent meta-analysis, which examined eleven studies conducted on postmenopausal women, concluded that diet and exercise reduce body fat more than diet or exercise alone.
For older adults, exercise-induced weight loss can boost quality of life. Here’s another study that underscores the importance of combining diet with exercise. Researchers at Wake Forest University divided 249 older adults into three groups. Participants in the first group received only dietary counseling. The other two groups received dietary counseling and were also assigned to an exercise program: one did resistance training and the third group completed an aerobic exercise routine. Participants in the two exercise groups reported significantly greater improvements to their quality of life.
Strength training works. What do most people do when they go to the gym? They head straight for the treadmill or stair climber for a cardio fix. While aerobic exercise is vital to our health, resistance training can also lead to serious weight loss. A recent randomized trial studied the effects of resistance training and dietary intervention in young women. The results of the study suggest that resistance training – along with diet – can reduce body fat while increasing lean mass.
Watching what you eat is more important than watching how much you eat. Counting calories got you stressed? Breathe a sigh of relief: the quality of your diet might matter more than how many calories you ingest, according to the results of a study published earlier this year. If you don’t want the hassle of counting every calorie or measuring your portions, stick to unprocessed foods, reduce your sugar intake, and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
The boosts in emotional well-being that accompany exercise can aid weight loss. Getting active does more than just improve your physical health. Exercise benefits your mind too. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that exercise leads to weight loss largely due to its positive effects on mood, self-regulation, and emotional health. Specifically, exercise reduced emotional eating in overweight women.
To lose weight, you might need more exercise than you think. In a study conducted at the University of Colorado, sedentary male and female participants needed to burn about 3,000 extra calories per week to lose weight. Study participants who burned 1,500 extra calories per week did not lose weight, and some even put on pounds throughout the course of the study – which lasted for twelve weeks. If 150 minutes a week of moderate activity – the minimum recommended by the Centers for Disease Control – isn’t helping you shed the pounds, you may need to increase the intensity or duration of your fitness routine.
For overweight kids, lifestyle changes trump genetics. Some kids may be genetically predisposed to carry extra weight. But all hope is not lost. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen studied the habits of 750 children. Based on the results of their study, the researchers concluded that diet and exercise still lead to weight loss – even when a child’s genetics make him or her more prone to obesity.
If you’re short on time, you might want to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Our busy lives can make exercise challenging, and a shortage of time is one of the most commonly cited reasons why people don’t workout enough. Fortunately, HIIT is not only quick but also highly effective. A small study carried out at the University of Scranton concluded that HIIT can bolster weight loss in postmenopausal women. Participants assigned to HIIT – which can be completed in short bursts – were more likely to stick to their exercise programs. HIIT also led to twice as much weight loss when compared to traditional endurance training.
Make Exercise a Priority in Your Life
If you’re committed to weight loss, it’s time to make exercise a priority for 2019. Some people are hesitant to make a long-term commitment if they aren’t sure if a gym is the right fit. That’s why it’s so important to find a fitness center that offers the option of a short-term program.
Whether you’re new to working out or just looking to get back into a fitness routine, Medford Fitness offers short-term programs for everyone. Our dedicated personal trainers can meet with you to assess your needs and then give you the training and motivation you need to reach your goals.
Join our Weight Loss Battle
To ensure your New Year’s resolution is a success, we invite you to join us this January for our Weight Loss Battle. Take part in this exciting fitness challenge – even if you’re not a member.
Space is limited, so call (609) 654-1440 today for details. The winner of the Battle will receive an Allegro Sport bike donated by Wheelies!