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Motivational Talk for Weight Loss Success

Would a Motivational Talk Help Your Weight Loss Success?

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Many people believe that the secret to weight loss success is in doing what we can to boost our motivation and confidence in reaching our goal.  What could be more helpful than a truly spectacular motivational talk? As it turns out, while this type of strategy might drive people to pursue their dreams or start a new business, it doesn’t make much of a difference at all when it comes to shedding unwanted pounds.  Here’s why.

Finding Motivation for Weight Loss Success

Researchers recently published an analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal. What it showed was that when healthcare providers took part in motivational interviewing (MI) with patients in order to promote weight loss success as a part of a broader program, there was little to no benefit at all to the patient.  The patients who received the additional motivational talks didn’t lose any more weight than people who used other strategies to reach their goal weight.

Admittedly, this is surprising news.  Motivation plays a substantial role in weight loss success. As a result, it was natural to believe that it would be helpful to provide interventions that were focused on boosting a patient’s motivation to reach their goals. 

Moreover, many people who have been unsuccessful at losing weight or who found themselves struggling to keep it up often say that they’re experiencing challenges with their motivation.  However, some of the major issues in this area have to do with perception and misperceptions of what motivation entails.

A Complex Process

It’s important to note that there is a considerable difference between motivation and willpower. Moreover, there is also a widespread misperception regarding the challenges with losing weight on the whole. Many people look at it as simply a matter of desire to reach a goal or to break unwanted habits.  This can be highly discouraging to people who have been working very hard to alter their lifestyles and who still battle with unwanted pounds. Obesity, for instance, is a disease that is challenging and complex to treat. It’s not just a matter of wanting to achieve a goal on the bathroom scale.

The MI used by healthcare practitioners in this study was meant to avoid judgment and argument and is centered around empathy while avoiding any form of direct confrontation.  It involves an interviewer who asks questions with non-judgment and that are designed to explore the reasons an individual is seeking to change. This technique was developed for use in supporting patients with alcohol abuse problems. The interviewer carefully listens, then offers personalized advice and encouragement.

As helpful as this technique can be with alcohol or substance abuse – particularly in cases when the patient is ambivalent toward change – there was no measurable benefit when used in an attempt to support patients who were seeking weight loss success.

Get the Support You Need for Weight Loss Success

Still, motivation and support play a key role in weight loss success. Get started with the weight loss center forum, talk to your doctor about changes to your eating strategy, and focus on lifestyle tweaks you’ll keep up over the long term.