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Altering Mindset Does Not Help Lose Weight: An Editorial

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In the last three decades, many alternative health care experts have been pushing consumers to have a positive attitude when it comes to losing weight. There are some people who believe that mind control is more important than physical exercise when it comes to weight loss.

Behavior therapies have been shown to be successful in helping people quit smoking, and have also been used in alcohol and drug addiction. Various types of behavioral therapies have developed to help people overcome their desire to eat food. However, until now it was always believed that these therapies were effective aids for weight loss.

Now a study shows that just thinking about lifestyle has little or no chance of success for weight loss. Just having a positive attitude is simply not good enough for weight loss.

The current study by researchers Professor Azeem Majeed and Dr. Nik Tuah of Imperial College, London, found no convincing evidence of any sustained or significant weight loss. This latest study looked at 4,000 people involved in five trials in America, Canada, Australia and Europe and looked at the step by step behavioral approach in helping people lose weight.

They looked at similar behavior approaches which have been used in many hospitals and clinic to help patients lose weight. These patients were followed for months. What researchers discovered is that this form of behavioral therapy only led to an average weight loss of 4.4 pounds. Worse, this minuscule weight loss was not sustained for any length of time. (1)

Professor Majeed, one of the authors of the study said, "Changing people's dietary patterns is very difficult - that's why we've got such a problem with obesity."

Dr. Tuah, another co-author, added: "This review does not necessarily challenge the notion that diet and exercise are effective weight loss strategies, but instead raises questions about how to approach lifestyle changes for individuals who want to adopt them."

Based on this study, it is obvious that changing one’s mindset is not adequate for weight loss.

In my opinion, weight loss is not an easy task and the results are not immediate. Consumers keep on turning to every new therapy which is introduced for instant gratification. In most cases, the majority of these treatments are ineffective and expensive.

If consumers want to lose weight, then they need to eat less and start some form of exercise -- even walking 45 minutess twice a day is acceptable. This method is known to work and costs nothing, but one needs to be persistent and motivated. (2)


1. Tuah NA et al. Transtheoretical model for dietary and physical exercise modification in weight loss management for overweight and obese adults.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21975777

2.Djousse L et al. Association between modifiable lifestyle factors and residual lifetime risk of diabetes.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21982361

Reviewed October 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

All about losing weight the natural way– by combining a healthy diet with exercise. Here you find more tips on http://www.fitnessandweightloss.us/

November 4, 2011 - 11:00pm
EmpowHER Guest

One of the secrets to successful weight loss is to kick-start our metabolism as soon as possible after we wake. The best way to do that is to eat breakfast. When we skip breakfast, not only does our metabolic rate stay low, so too does our blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels resulting from missing breakfast often leads us to feel lethargic. When we eat breakfast, our body feels nourished and satisfied, making us far less likely to over eat during the rest of the day.
Kinesiology Tape

November 2, 2011 - 2:42am
EmpowHER Guest

Most people think they can just starve themselves and not eat to lose weight but it doesn't work that way. Your body will go into starvation mode. If you want to know why you can't starve yourself to lose weight this article gives a very good explanation.


October 13, 2011 - 5:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have to vehemently disagree with a change of mindset. Actions speak louder than words, sure, but a big part of exercise is the motiviation to get out there and actually do it! Anybody struggling with their weight should give this guys blog a look. He has an inspirational story of how he changed his life for the better, and ended up meeting the love of his life. I always read his first post whenever I am a bit frustrated with my dieting, Johnathan is a lucky man.


October 13, 2011 - 1:12pm
(reply to Anonymous)

like i said, weight loss is a difficult process. Eating less and walking more is vital, but this only works if you remain motivated. good luck. SB

October 13, 2011 - 1:45pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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