Dr. Ian Smith, author of bestselling weight-loss books Shred, Super Shred and The Shred Diet Cookbook, among others over the years, says having a support system is important to successful weight loss.
“Lots of studies have documented how advantageous it is to have some type of reliable support system,” he says. “People with this support system lose more weight and keep it off longer. Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, co-worker, neighbor — whomever is going to support you and be there for you is a critical component to your weight loss journey. “Seek out those who are serious about health and serious about helping you — even if they have to be firm with you at times when you are being tempted to slip.”
We talked with Dr. Smith about other challenges facing Americans:
Q. What is the biggest challenge facing Americans who need to lose weight?
A. The ability to exert self discipline in the face of so much temptation. Meals are too large, contain too many calories, and are too convenient. Americans need to be able to make the right nutritional and physical activity choices so that they can start seeing some results as far as weight loss. Also, taking those first steps is the most difficult thing. We can’t be afraid and we have to be serious about making change in our lives. Talking a good game means nothing if you don’t execute a good game strategy.
Q. Why is it so difficult for people to stick to a weight-loss plan?
A. Because they are often doing the wrong plan or doing it with the wrong attitude. Too many people want too much too fast. Weight loss takes dedication and perseverance. People have to take small steps to get the big differences they seek. People also need to think long-term and lifestyle. Changes need to be permanent — part of who a person is, not just for short-term weight loss. I believe that people also suffer from “food boredom” where they get tired of eating the same thing on a diet plan.
Q. If people could do just one simple thing to turn their lives around, weight-wise, what would that be?
A. Start moving. Literally. Get off the couch or in front of the computer and make your body work. Making better nutritional choices is also imperative. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is a program that is two-pronged at the very least — better nutritional choice and regular physical activity.