The novelty of fitness bands lasts 6 months

Fitness bandsForbes’ Mike Powell (no relation) has written about fitness bands and their appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He explained that although 10% Americans now owns one, it’s less likely that you’ll see them on one-in-ten wrists:

At the panel, NPD’s VP of Connected Intelligence, Eddie Hold, noted that 42 percent of Fitness tracker owners abandon usage in the first six months. This is a very high rate of abandonment, mirroring the dropout rate at fitness centers.

I take one important lesson from this. “[The] high rate of abandonment [mirrors the] rate at fitness centers”. In other words, if you’re not committed, simply signing up to a gym or buying a FitBit isn’t going to change things. The people who buy a band as a solution rather than as a tool will be sorely disappointed.

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WeightWatchers offers in-app coaches

WeightWatchers doesn’t get much love these days, but I’m all for organisations attempting to innovate.

In WW’s case here, their American company have made a couple new additions to their programme that have impressed me.

Screenshot of Amazon's Mayday serviceFirstly, their app now offers video coaching- similar to us, of course, but in practice more like Amazon’s ‘Mayday’ button, where you can press the button and speak with one of their coaches 24/7. In practice, I feel working with a specific coach is more powerful than working with whoever picks up the call, but I love the fact that they now recognise one-on-one coaching can be powerful in weight loss.

Secondly, their new advertising campaign openly accepts that losing weight is hard. The video – which I encourage you to watch – talks about how we “eat our feelings”. Their new slogan, Help with the Hard Part, acknowledges that fact. It also shows a variety of people, men and women, large and only needing to lose a few pounds.

Overall, it’s very positive that the largest player in weight loss is now showing identifiable issues, rather than just newly-slim women doing a twirl in their party-frocks.

If the idea of personal accountability appeals and you think a coach would work for you, but you’re not a WeightWatcher, why not give us a try? We’ve helped hundreds of people all over the world lose weight and keep it off- for good. Get in touch.

Your diet approach – are you an abstainer or a moderator?

Have you heard some of the more recent advice, that a diet that focuses on calorie counting alone won’t work?

Well, it will – if you stick to it. In fact, every diet tip you hear will work, as long as you stick to them.

I had to lose 100lbs when I started dieting. I cut out bread, potatoes, pasta – I went on a low-carb diet, in other words. This helped me because I’m an abstainer.

There are two types of diet. One is to abstain; identify certain foods that you just won’t eat any more. The other is to moderate. Limit the quantity of the foods you eat.

Every diet is one or the other of these things. Calorie counting is moderation. Atkins is abstention.

Which would work for you?

You need to decide that you want this. You want this more than anything else. Because if you want this more than anything else in your life, you’ll prioritise it over other issues.

Hang around here to get a feel for what might work for you. But start. This isn’t going to be a quick-fix, so that best thing you can do is to start anything and see how it works. If it works for you, great! If not, OK, try a different diet.

But don’t give up.

Good luck.

Emotional eating

I’ve previously spoken about food diaries. Perhaps you think it won’t work for you. “I know what I eat. I eat 3 square meals a day, it can’t be the food. Perhaps I have a thyroid issue?”.

Perhaps you do. Certainly, it wouldn’t hurt to have it checked out. But for most of us, it is the food we’re eating – especially when you eat, and why.

If you record what you eat, when it was and, crucially, how you felt at the time, you can start to spot your own patterns. Were you tired? Bored? Angry? Lonely? Upset?

Many people are emotional eaters – they eat to self-soothe, to medicate. This is not wrong, as a habit or a behaviour, but it’s not helping any more. If you’re attempting to lose weight, some of the habits that have brought us where we are aren’t working as well as we’d like. This could be one of them.

Identifying when we allow our emotions to control our food intake is one of the fastest, strongest ways to break the cycle.