Role of Incentives in a Weight Loss or Diet Plan

by | Jun 28, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

In the previous blog post we explained how lack of food in a weight loss or diet plan is counter productive. Today we’ll expand that knowledge and write about the role of incentives and why they are so important in achieving our weight loss goals.

We put on weight because we lead a sedentary life

i.e. expend too few calories. It does not take a genius to realize that if the food intake remains the same but activity decreases, it means we are consuming too much. So if any weight loss or diet plan is to have even half a chance of success, we need to balance our calorie intake with actual energy requirements. This logic is easy enough to understand, right? From a practical point of view however, this is easier said then done because eating habits aren’t easily changed – especially when it affects some of our favorite food treats. So for any fat loss or weight loss or diet plan to have even the slightest chance of success, you need to counter the attraction of junk food or large quantities of food with equally strong incentive. As any mathematician would love to say, “Honey, the equation needs to be balanced”. In a nutshell,

you need to ask and understand how you will benefit from losing weight?

Not one of my clients who attempted a diet plan and failed to lose weight had asked and answered the “what would I gain” question. If I ask what they hoped to gain by losing weight the answer usually is “I’ll look better” or “my health will improve” or “my doctor told me to” or “my wife is nagging me” or other variations thereof. Their voice and tone speaks volumes. It tells me they are not committed; there is no conviction, no force behind the need to succeed. You cannot succeed because someone else is telling you to – you must want it for yourself and you must want it desperately enough.

To succeed – go personal!

Let’s face it – pep talk rarely works but materialistic gain does. How about that fabulous car you’ve been eying for the past year or the fabulous house down the block that you know will be up for sale but feel you might not be able to afford it?  Think deeply, what do you want, really want? Whatever the object of your desire, it should be for sale and it should be just a wee bit beyond your buying capacity.

Once you’ve decided, obtain a picture of it –

a large one, frame it and put it in your bedroom or exercise room or any other place where it is sure to catch your attention on a daily basis. Promise yourself and your family; oh, yes, it is important they be part of this and understand and agree to your need to succeed and reward. Promise yourself that when you achieve your target weight loss, you will buy whatever it is your heart desires. Obviously, your reward needs to be something that is on the market for sale. You can’t promise yourself the new brunette who just moved into the next house. Nor should you promise yourself that you will permit yourself to get drunken everyday – no, that would lead to self-doubt and your weight loss plan would flounder.

And just so you don’t cheat,

the challenge should include maintaining the target weight for at least six months before you and your family goes out and makes the wonderful purchase. ;)

In the meantime, read more about weight loss with fitness and weight management on our site.