How to Lose Weight SuccessfullyApril 8, 2020
ObesityHelp had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Robert Kushner about obesity, weight loss, bariatric surgery, dieting, and how to lose weight successfully. You can look forward to two more articles where Dr. Kushner shares important information from his experience and insights. The information below is from the esteemed Dr. Kushner.
You have tried almost every diet out there only to find that the weight you lost returns once the diet has overstayed its welcome, and you have kicked it to the curb, or the “plan” has run its course.
Whether you have tried the Keto diet, Low-Carb diets, Mediterranean Diet, Cabbage Soup diet, and have been Yo-Yo dieting with other plans for years, the truth is that one diet does not fit all! No matter what diet plan you try, for most, keeping the weight off long-term is often a constant struggle, a never-ending cycle of weight loss and regain with diet after diet.
So the question is, how can we lose weight successfully for the long-term?
Lose Weight Successfully
Lifestyle Modification: The Art of Losing Weight Successfully
"Your personal relationship with food, physical activity, mindset and emotions form the backdrop of your journey." -Dr. Robert Kushner
We all have different body types, lifestyles, and life circumstances. It is a fact that diet successes or failures vary from person to person. The old saying of “eat less, move more” types of diet plans along with fad food-based diets don’t take into account your genetics, your health challenges, your stresses, and everyday life struggles.
Personalized Lifestyle Management:
So, is personalized lifestyle management the correct approach versus just a diet plan that is not focused on you and your lifestyle needs and goals? World-renowned weight management pioneer and leading expert Dr. Robert Kushner says YES! Dr. Kushner is board-certified in internal medicine, obesity, and nutrition. He has nearly 40 years of experience breaking weight loss barriers through research and personalized lifestyle management.
Dr. Kushner’s dedicated patient advocacy has led him and his colleagues, including his wife, Nancy Kushner, MSN, RN, to conclude that one-dimensional food-focused diets don’t work. They often lead individuals to fall back into old lifestyles and habits once life gets in the way.
There is an all-or-nothing quality that suggests either you have the willpower or you do not. This mindset is NOT how people successfully take control of their weight. It’s not the lack of willpower that prohibits successful weight loss, and that should not be your main focus.
Reversing the Diet Trend:
Dr. Kushner has seen in his experience that the way of reversing the diet trend is by using the principles of successful habit-forming, setting specific and realistic goals, finding and embracing motivation, tapping into your strengths, appreciating how your body works and understanding ways to lose weight beyond the latest diet fad.
Whether you have had weight loss surgery or not, Dr. Kushner’s extensive research shows that a progressive approach to successful long-term weight loss begins with achievable lifestyle modification that is personalized to your life challenges, your likes and dislikes, and goals.
Successful Weight Loss:
Dr. Kushner believes that it all begins with getting to know YOU - your psychological and social behaviors, how you cope with stress, manage your mood, and focusing on those factors that make it difficult to control the body weight. Successful weight loss is all about changing your habits and making slow and gradual changes.
You can’t change your genetics or age, but you can change your lifestyle, patterns/habits, mindset, and practice self-care. The key to making changes to your personal weight management is to apply practical and sensible strategies that target your own challenges.
A Habits-Based Approach to Losing Weight Successfully
"My mission is to inspire and empower you to lose weight while embracing the healthier habits that fit your life." -Dr. Robert Kushner
So, how do individuals successfully form new habits? Dr. Kushner says that weight loss management/counseling is not counseling on weight. Instead, it is a process of identifying and resolving lifestyle issues and habits that get in the way of healthy weight loss.
He has identified three secret ingredients to address your personal habits, which are repetition, planning, and accountability. Dr. Kushner shares that new habits don’t happen just because you want them to. They are strengthened by carefully constructed intentional thoughts and behaviors.
Repetition is important because new habits need to be repeated over and over again to make them become automatic.
Planning starts with setting up realistic goals along with intentional thoughts and behaviors such as meal planning and gym activity. Being accountable to others helps you to become motivated and more mindful of your weight loss goals. Finding a work-out partner, attending online or in-person weight management support groups, sharing your intentions and goals with others helps you to achieve your goals no matter how big or small. Being accountable to yourself by keeping food logs, tracking your steps, and other methods are ways of helping you to record your achievements.
Identifying Your Weight Loss Barriers
You are like no other person on this earth! You are quietly or loudly unique, and that is why successful weight management begins with YOU. Getting rid of less healthful habits and focusing on new habits, making lifestyle changes, choosing healthier foods, and moving around more are just some of the solutions to successful weight management.
But what are your more in-depth personal weight loss barriers? Dr. Kushner has learned that asking his patients to adjust their carbohydrates, fats, or calories wasn’t enough. He recognized the importance of personalized lifestyle management and self-care. From his experience, he committed to becoming an expert in lifestyle management, including sleep, stress activity, and behavior changes. And that he did!
Dr. Kushner’s important research led him to discover the six major barriers or factors to successful weight management to which he has developed into a short, scientifically validated Six Factor Quiz and a new self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!
Perhaps one or more of these factors apply to you: (You'll learn more about these six factors in Dr. Kushner's next article.)
- Easily Enticed Eater
- Convenient Diner
- Exercise Struggler
- Fast Pacer
- All Or Nothing Doer
Dr. Kushner believes it is important for someone to be realistic about their goals and to understand what their personal factors are. Pattern recognition is vital. Identifying lifestyle patterns, including behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and coping skills, create an individualized approach to weight management.
Whether you identify as a Fast Pacer, Self-Critic, Convenient Diner or as several of the validated factors, the facts are that you can successfully manage long-term weight loss and live a healthier, more energetic, purposeful life by maintaining a weight that is healthy for your body and soul. YOUR body and soul!
The goal of successful weight loss is to create a healthy, lifelong weight loss/maintenance journey through a habits-based program that uses personalized strategies to help you lose weight in a healthy way. And no matter where you are on your weight loss journey, managing your lifestyle habits and overcoming past hurdles starts with YOU... even when life gets in the way.
This article is part one of a three-part article series that highlights the fundamentals of weight loss success with the distinguished Dr. Robert Kushner, one of the most highly respected weight management experts in the world.
Check out Dr. Kushner's "Understanding the Barriers to Successful Weight Loss" article.
 Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!, by Robert Kushner, MD, Nancy Kushner, MSN, RN with Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, December 2019.
ABOUT THE AUTHORDr. Robert F. Kushner MD, is board-certified in internal medicine, nutrition and obesity. He is a passionate clinician, educator, researcher and advocate in helping to improve the lives of those affected by obesity. His new book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You! was just published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Read more articles by Dr. Kushner!