3 ways to help you achieve your new year weight-loss goals

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  • Psychological wellness is vital for the weight-loss journey.
  • Planned and nutritious snacking can help prevent obesity.
  • People who keep records of their weight and exercise are more likely to sustain their weight loss.

The new year is a good time time to set new lifestyle goals. Changes in one's lifestyle, especially regarding health and nutrition, are not always easily attainable. But science may have the answers you need to kickstart your efforts. Health24 put together three studies to help you turn your goals into reality.

Psychological wellbeing

A new study has found that one of the vital elements of weight loss is psychological wellbeing. The research published in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology looked a the joint role of psychological wellbeing and achieving clinically significant weight loss, which is the loss of 5% of one's initial weight.

The study found that out of 96 participants, more than 30% reached their clinical weight-loss goal. The findings show that poor psychological wellbeing may contribute to a poor weight-loss outcome. The results also show that people who experienced somatisation – which happens when psychological concerns are converted into physical symptoms such as pain – had a lower probability of clinically significant weight loss.

Planned snacking

According to a new study in Nutrition Research, energy-dense snacks may contribute to higher energy intake and weight gain in adults. The research evaluated whether snacks contribute to higher energy intake and body weight in adults.

The study also found that planned snacking helps prevent obesity, and the context of snack intakes such as eating alone, outside home or work, late in the day, in front of the screen also influence snacking behaviour.

The study authors recommend mindful snacking, more morning snacks than at other times of the day, and replacing energy-dense snacks with more suitable ones.

Monitor weight loss progress

Keeping track of weight loss may help maintain one's desired weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

For two years, 339 people tracked their weight loss progress and submitted reports to study authors every six months. Participants tracked their behaviours, including moderate to vigorous physical activity. 

The findings show that participants with gaps in self-monitoring as early as the second week of the intervention reported less exercise and weighed more at 24 months. Furthermore, consistent physical activity tracking was associated with higher reported moderate to vigorous physical activity and lower weight. 

READ | How snacking before bedtime piles on the kilos

READ | Are low carb diets more effective for weight loss?

READ | Celebrity diets and food fads have been around for centuries – and some of them even worked

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