In talking with my wife, we often have conversations about losing weight, getting fit, and finding the “right plan” to help us to lose weight. My wife will talk about how if she just finds the right fitness plan, things will be different. I sometimes feel the same way, thinking if I find just the right workout and nutrition plan I’ll be able to turn the corner.
Over the years I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight (40+ lbs) more than once, and on different plans, but never spending a lot of money. The problem is that I haven’t been able to completely turn things around, and change the way I live. I haven’t had the motivation or the willingness to change my habits in order to keep the weight off. Now, I’m wondering if maybe to find that right plan I may need to spend a bit more money to get that added boost and motivation?
A study published this year in the New England Journal of Medicine talks about how weight loss doesn’t have to be expensive. The caveat? You have to be motivated and willing to change. The greater your motivation, the less you’ll probably have to spend. The study compared 4 popular diets:
They found they all produced similar results. After two years, the dieters in each group lost an average of nine pounds. Notably, the dieters who attended more counseling sessions lost a little bit more, which may support the notion that behavior is more important than diet alone.
Motivation, though, is not always easy to come by — especially when it involves changing habits. Some people may need a little help to kick-start a weight-loss regimen, whether that means following a popular diet or enrolling in an organized program. Your goal, though, should not be short term.
“Keeping weight off permanently is a lifelong process,” says James O. Hill, a psychologist and a founder of the National Weight Control Registry , a database of 6,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off.
How ready are you? The more committed you are, the less you will need to spend.
Motivation And How Much You Spend To Lose Weight
The article goes on to talk about the different levels that people are at with their motivation, and how much they ‘ll need to spend:
- Highly Motivated and Willing To Change Do It Yourself-ers – Spend The Least: You can lose weight for no cost if you are very motivated, and are ready to change your lifestyle. Free resources for losing weight abound on the web, and usually your doctor can give you some helpful pointers on good healthy nutrition. You can also get helpful weight loss books from the library, or use a community gym for free.
- Somewhat Motivated And Willing – Spend A Little: A lot of people take this route where they spend some money to get fit, usually buying fitness books, or simple exercise aids. Not exceedingly expensive, and a good option if you’re motivated and willing, but don’t want to spend a lot.
- Not Motivated And Somewhat Willing – Spend a Lot: More people need that extra push, support and motivation that is provided in a more structured setting. For those people there are groups like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and other similar weight loss support groups. Also bunched in here might be groups at your local fitness club that guide you in proper nutrition and exercise. Most of these groups will having fees to join, weekly or monthly charges, and extra charges for things like food or supplements. You can really spend a good deal of money to do this.
- Not Motivated and Somewhat Willing But Needing Extra Support – Spend A Ton: Many people have tried a lot of different ways to lose weight, but have found that they just can’t do it without added help. Many of them have some real big health problems that need to be addressed. For those people often a monitored hospital based plan is the ticket. These plans will often include visits with a doctor as well as follow up visits -all which cost money. You can end up spending a lot of money over the months that you lose weight, but for some it is the only option.
In the past I’ve always just kind of done my own workout plans, calling upon free workout resources online to help me in the process.
I think the time may have come for me to move it up to another level and actually invest in some books and other resources that may cost a little bit of money. I think I may need that extra boost!
How are you with your workouts? Are you highly motivated and able to do it on your own? Do you benefit from added help you can get from an organized program? Do you need more structure? Tell us what you think in the comments.