How should we define success in a weight loss journey?

So it’s been just over a week since the MoreLife team were on the ITV Tonight show helping three individuals – Gemma, Richard and Steve – to lose weight and ultimately change their lives. We are really grateful for everyone who tuned in and showed their support.

 As I’ve outlined in previous blogs, one of MoreLife’s core messages is that ‘real weight loss’ is about more than just losing weight.

In my experience, mindset change is far more important. It is the key to achieving successful, long-term weight loss, and I would much rather see a mindset change than a change in weight.

“The main thing I’ve learnt is to be kind to myself”

– Richard 

Professor Paul Gately

I’m glad the ITV show reflected this and the conversations I’ve been having since it aired have shown me just how many people understand that message.

Of course, some might have expected to see a more drastic weight loss. This got me thinking about how we, as a society, define success in weight loss. Should we start seeing mindset change as the real success, with weight loss as a positive by-product?

I can understand the need to see immediate physical change and, for many families, this sentiment comes from a place of caring. When I first started working in this area, I was often guilty of this mentality too. As someone with a passion to help others, I desperately wanted to help them overcome barriers and change their lifestyle.

However, the main downfall of many weight loss programmes is that black and white mentality: good foods vs bad foods, right vs wrong, success vs failure. This is one reason why so many people struggle with weight loss and often feel like they have failed. What they really need is less judgement and more support, no matter where they are in their journey or what progress they make.

At MoreLife we understand that it is an individual journey. Years of experience has shown us that one approach may work for some but won’t work for all, and we work hard to understand the needs of each individual.

I think this came across really well on the ITV Tonight programme. We wanted to keep the show true to life, and provide the three participants with diet and physical activity changes that were simple, realistic and empowering.

With the help of Psychologists James and Sophie (who was working hard behind the scenes), they were able to understand their thoughts and feelings to overcome barriers and undertake small but sustainable changes.

The difficulty is that a change in mindset is hard to judge and measure. However, it’s clear to see how far Gemma, Steve and Richard had come with the help of the MoreLife team. Their attitudes towards healthy lifestyles had shifted. They were liberated from the ‘success vs failure’ mindset that had held them back in the past. Undoubtedly, this is the first step towards achieving successful, long-term weight loss.


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