Failing at Weight Loss? It’s Not the Diet

Wellocracy_BetterAfter50_1You’ve tried every popular weight loss diet under the sun — from high-protein, low-carb to high-carb, low-fat and everything in between — but still haven’t been able to lose weight and keep it off.  Nevertheless, you (and millions of others like us) keep searching for the one “perfect” diet.  Stop!

Chances are, it’s not the diet that’s preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals, according to Sherry Pagoto, PhD, a weight management clinician and associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Pagoto cites several well-done studies that have compared trendy diets: “They all show that there’s no significant difference between these diets in terms of success rates. Instead, success was determined by how well the dieter was able to adhere to and stick to the diet, which as it turned out, had very little to do with the diet per se.” 

So, now what? All we need to do is stick to a diet, any diet, and we’ll fit into that new dress for the reunion? But, we all know it’s not quite that easy.

In the past few years, activity trackers, like FitBit and the Nike Fuelband, and mobile apps on our smartphones that help us count calories, like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt!, have been flooding the market. All of these choices can create confusion and, ultimately, that confusion can prevent us from doing anything at all.

Enter Wellocracy, an online resource to help people wade through the countless health trackers and mobile apps, and figure out which technology suits your personality, individual motivation and health goals. The Wellocracy website includes information and inspiration to make health a part of our daily lives, and provides impartial, easy-to-understand information on these new personal ‘self-health’ technologies.

Wellocracy’s team of experts, clinicians and technology geeks have also created simple comparison charts and unbiased reviews on activity and nutrition trackers, sleep monitors, mobile apps and more. The website is chock full of expert guidance from leading doctors from hospitals like Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to get you on your way to a healthier, happier you!

To Track or Not to Track

An activity tracker is a small, wearable, wireless sensor that as its name implies, “tracks” your actions throughout the day. A tracker can measure how many steps and how far you walk, how many calories you burn, and your “active” versus “inactive” minutes. Some activity trackers monitor how much and how well you sleep, and even your mood. Trackers can be placed in a pocket or clipped onto a shoe or an article of clothing, like a belt, waistband or bra, or worn on a wristband, armband or as a pendant around the neck.

Unlike old school pedometers that merely counted steps or calories burned but don’t record your progress, today’s activity trackers can automatically send your data to the internet. Your information can be accessed from anywhere, anytime on your computer, tablet or smart phone. So, unlike a hand-written diary, an automated activity tracker makes it impossible to “fudge” your data or “forget” to record your numbers on a bad day.

Wellocracy recently asked Tara Linitz, RD, LDN, an outpatient dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital for some tips on getting the most out of tracking activity and calories:

  • Choose the app that is the easiest for you to use, that way you’ll be most likely to stick with it.
  • In order to accurately track calories, it’s very important to understand what a portion size looks like. Most people tend to underestimate how much they eat!
  • Exercise is very important, so if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to increase your activity to help maintain muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism works, even at rest, which will aid in weight loss.
  • Healthy sustainable weight loss is anywhere from one-half to two pounds per week. Any faster than that and it’s usually water weight that will come right back on. Women shouldn’t eat less than 1,200 calories a day; men usually shouldn’t go under 1,800 calories. Eating too few calories can disrupt metabolism and actually make it harder to lose weight.

Get tracking!

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Failing at Weight Loss? It’s Not the Diet was last modified: by

  1 comment for “Failing at Weight Loss? It’s Not the Diet

  1. Carol E
    May 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    What about proper thyroid testing?

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