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To Reach Weight-Loss Targets, Start with Small Goals

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/to-reach-weight-loss-targets-start-with-small-goals

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To Reach Weight-Loss Targets, Start with Small Goals
Drawing on data from a weight-loss app, Yale SOM’s Kosuke Uetake and his co-author found that setting small goals and changing them frequently helped dieters reach their long-term goals.

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How to reach weight-loss goals

How to reach weight-loss goals

Finding a weight-loss diet is usually not a problem, be it paleo, low-carb, or wine-based. The real challenge is sticking to it. A recent study used data from a diet app and concluded that small, short-term goals that responded to the dieter's progress helped them reach their long-term goals.

Despite the goals being self-directed, people take their daily goals seriously. Even if there is no kind of punishment attached, they will reduce their consumption or increase their exercise to keep them near their goals. Those who achieved their short-term goals were more likely to meet subsequent goals.

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Goal design affects motivation

Researchers built a model to explore how small variations in goal design could influence motivation.

  • They found that adaptive goals are more beneficial than static goals.
  • Challenging goals are more useful for people who recently experienced setbacks or made significant progress.

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Different Outcomes

Different Outcomes

We're all different. If we are all on the same weight-loss diet, there will be various outcomes. Some people will lose a lot, some will lose a little, and a few will even gain weight.

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Genetics And Nutrition

Scientists are continually finding links between genetics and nutrition. Many of us have a gene called FTO that makes us more likely to be overweight. You can get a genetic test to tell which variant of the FTO gene you happen to have.

However, scientists who study the genetics of nutrition think it’s premature to base nutritional advice on your DNA. That FTO gene, for example, has only been shown to make a few pounds’ difference in body weight.

Nutritional Genetic Testing

The coded messages of your DNA are billions of letters (nucleotides) long. Personalized nutrition companies only care about a few of your DNA letters and can tell you which "variant" you have at each of those locations (known as SNPs) along your DNA strands.

Genetic testing companies can learn what SNP variants you have by supplying them with a vial of spit.

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Self-Control Failures

Self-control is basically restraining yourself from doing something that may feel good in the short run, but may not be in your best interests in the long run. This includes not gorging on cookies ...

Willpower: Discovering the Strength Muscle Of the Mind

Self-control is a kind of mind muscle that if used continuously, tires out just like the physical counterpart.

Difficult days that rob our energy also sap us out of our willpower, make us psychologically weak and unable to resist the temptation to give up on our plan. We are more likely to skip the evening gym session if we were occupied the whole day, mentally and physically exhausted.

The Four Stages That Lead To Giving Up To Temptation

  1. Situation Stage: The overall situation where we are at the mercy of giving in to temptation.
  2. Attentional Stage: When our attention is towards the ‘sinful’ activity that is the main temptation, like gorging on cookies.
  3. Appraisal Stage: When we imagine how good the forbidden activity would feel.
  4. Response Stage: When we finally give in to the temptation.

Revisit what you know

Energy balance is the first key to achieving one's ideal body. It's a way of saying calories in versus calories out. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its c...

Steer clear of opaque food containers

Don't eat out of food containers, boxes, and bags that aren't clear.

Our brains are highly visual. We take visual cues as to how much food we’ve eaten to help us know when we should stop. When you can't see how much food you’ve had, you never get that visual feedback and you end up eating way too much.

Ditch dieting

Dieting limits one's mind-set.

Once you're off your diet and have lost weight, you might revert back to eating poorly, not exercising and ultimately regain pounds. Instead, focus on your long-term eating habits.