Want to lose weight and keep it off? Well, accountability is the key

Want to lose weight and keep it off? Well, accountability is the key

We’ve all been there feeling fabulous in our old jeans as the scales tell us we are 3 kilos lighter, however, most of us also know too well the slow old creep of those kilos/pounds returning, little by little and inch by inch. And as the days and weeks pass by, the motivation for the early morning gym sessions and the no food after 6 pm slowly dissolves, and before we know it those pounds have returned. 

It is generally recognized that the missing link in regards to keeping the weight off – is obtaining some form of accountability –  where your progress (or lack of it) is measured and recorded for you to see. Being held accountable prevents you from denying the upward creep on the scales or the increased tightness of your jeans –  and better still, by having regular accountability reporting activities – if there is negative weight gain – you are then in the best position to immediately realign yourself and your behaviors to your weight loss goals rather than waiting until it is too late. 

How to Create Accountability in 4 Easy Steps

So what is the best way to create accountability? We have created a 4-step system. 

  1. First step – set your goal weight or if you have achieved it – you need to tell someone (be it a personal trainer or a gym buddy or nutritionist, for example) what this goal/achievement is.  Research shows that the act of publicly stating your goal to one other person means that you are 90% more likely to achieve it. So whether it is a specific number on the scales or the general fit of a piece of clothing, you must tell your accountability person what this goal is in order to keep the weight off.  Make sure that this person has your best interests at heart. The less familiar you are with this person, the less likely you will attempt to provide excuses for not achieving or slipping from your goal weight.  A common recommendation for setting goals is to ensure that they are SMART – this is Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound. So rather than a rather broad goal, “lose weight,” – this would become  
  • Specific – lose 5 kgs.  
  • Measurable – by the end of June, my weight will be 65kgs. I will lose 1kg each month until June.
  • Action Oriented  – I will go to the gym 30 minutes x 3 times per week and reduce calories to 1500/ day and no alcohol on weekdays. I will record my steps to ensure that I walk 10,000 steps per day
  • Realistic  – (the loss of  1kg each month plus the actions around this of gym sessions x 3/week – would be considered realistic.  – as opposed to losing 5kgs by the end of the month), and 
  • Time-frames – having a set date for the goal to be achieved, plus the additional month’s goals of 1kg loss, gives a specific time frame for this goal to be achieved.
  1. The second step is to schedule a time to conduct your measurements or weigh-ins. The more frequent these scheduled times are, the faster you are able to get back on track if you start to wane. It also is a frequent reminder of the goal that you have set, and by seeing it, addressing, and discussing it frequently means you are once again  more likely to achieve the weight loss and keep it off long term 
  1. The third step is to ensure that your accountability buddy will NOT enable you to change the goals posts or get off track. A friend that laughs at your failure and then offers you a glass of wine to commiserate about your increased weight is not the right person to help you maintain your goal weight and to help keep it off.  So make sure you choose a person or platform that really supports your goals. Accountability platforms can be weight loss groups on Facebook, for example – however, the anonymity and the fact that you can leave the group at any time may allow you to dip out on the accountability that is needed for your continued success. 
  1. The fourth and final step is to celebrate your wins!  Too often, we are focused on criticism and the struggle to achieve our goals – and once we achieve our goal, we forget to praise ourselves and celebrate. Rather than celebrating your continued weight loss success with food and drink so, perhaps consider a reward that is more likely to help you continue with your goal would be better suited. Perhaps a personal training session or a relaxing massage would be more helpful in your continued success. 

At Beautiful Body Clinics – fat-freezing specialists, we understand that accountability is potentially the most important factor in getting and keeping weight off. Since 2017 96% of our clients have expressed a desire to have global weight loss in conjunction with fat loss from the fat-freezing treatment. Therefore we have created a Behavioural Change Program which includes a Daily Accountability Report for our clients to assist with their weight loss goals after fat-freezing treatment. This Daily Accountability Report requires daily (yes, daily) reporting of calories consumed, the number of steps taken, water consumed, and daily weight.  At the clinic – we found that despite the general understanding of calories in versus calories out and the need for a deficit for weight loss – many of our fat-freezing clients were unaware of their actual calorie consumption on a daily basis and their underwhelming physical activity – which had led to their expanding waistlines and hence the need for fat freezing treatment. Not only were clients eating 300 calories on average per day above their daily requirements, but they were also moving an average of  4200 steps less than the minimum recommended 10,000 steps per day to maintain their current weight.  So by having a daily accountability record to complete these categories, not only were our clients able to address the real changes needed for weight loss (reduced calorie intake and the increased output of energy through exercise), but they were more likely to keep the weight off due to participating in our  Behavioural Change Program most importantly recording their results in our Daily Accountability Report.  

So setting SMART weight loss goals is a good way to approach weight loss and weight management however, ACCOUNTABILITY through  “social reality”  is proven to be the main key to achieving your weight loss goals and then keeping the kilos off.

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