95% of dieters gain their weight back. This discouraging statistic prompted the beginning of a group called the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) comprised of researchers at Brown University and the University of Colorado. They sought to determine what brought success to that 5% of people who were able to lose weight and keep it off. What they found was that the people who kept the weight off didn't just exercise and eat less, they also changed their life in some way.
Some motivating reasons the successful losers maintained their loss were attributed to the following events:
"I was going through menopause and didn't want to go into the next part of my life as a heavy person."
"It was time to get my career into high gear."
"I was going through a divorce."
"It was time to stop being so afraid of rejection."
"I lost someone dear to me and realized it was time take care of myself."
"I was ready to own my sexuality."
The place where they were stuck wasn't just related to their weight, it was related to some other aspect of their life. When you're stuck, you're emotionally hungry. The people who have dieted successfully got fed up with being emotionally hungry. By dealing with the underlying issues that fueled their emotional hunger, they were able to adhere to a sensible eating plan and exercise consistently.
This didn't happen all at once. They had to learn how to recognize emotional hunger. They had to contend with the realization it wasn't just that they felt emotionally hungry. It was that they felt powerless to do anything about their emotional hunger. They didn't believe they could effect any change in the parts of their lives that were unsatisfying. They had to prove to themselves that it wasn't true, that they weren't powerless.
Feeling stuck can be like having one foot on the gas pedal and another foot on the brake. Your foot is on the gas pedal because you desperately want to go somewhere, but your foot is on the brake because you're afraid.
Emotional hunger indicates where you need to make a change. When a person eats because emotional hunger is too uncomfortable, they disable their body's internal guidance system. They “numb out.”. Once this happens, they are more likely to get stuck.
By taking the first steps to get unstuck (facing fears, resolving key life issues), you start moving out of your rut. The efficacy of this was proven in the study that the National Weight Control Registry conducted.
Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to get unstuck? Weigh loss and maintenance is a JOURNEY, not a destination.
Fitness Enthusiast and Guest Blogger
Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a preexisting medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.