Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

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James Hill, PhD
We do know a lot about weight loss and yet over the long term, I think we’re not very successful. I think there are a couple of reasons for that. First is we focus on short-term getting the weight off and in fact we’re not too bad at getting the weight off. When in fact, what we need to spend more time on is how people keep it off. So our research suggests that losing weight involves different skills than keeping weight off. We’re good at helping people lose weight, we’re not so good about helping people keep it off. And the second thing is, we’re very good at telling them what to do. So we can give them a very good plan for what to eat and how to exercise, but what we’ve learned is that people need more help with the mental part of that. Getting their mental preparation for actually doing it. So unless they’re prepared to really make these changes giving them a great diet and exercise program isn’t going to work because they aren’t going to be able to stick with it.