Losing weight requires more than a change of diet – it also requires a change of environment and lifestyle. According to a recent study by Cornell University researchers, dieters who focus on changing their surroundings are more successful at adhering to their diet and losing weight.
As part of the three-month study, the researchers gave 200 participants specific diet tips from three categories:
- Change your environment
- Change your eating behavior
- Change your food choices
People who were given specific instructions on changing their environment – for example, by eating off smaller plates, hiding high-calorie foods out of sight and turning off the television during mealtime – were able to follow their diet plans an average of two more days per month.
What made an even bigger difference was consistency, said the researchers. People who followed a tip for at least 20 days per month saw more dramatic results.
While small environmental changes can make a difference, even more impressive results can be achieved with a complete environmental overhaul. Residential weight loss programs take men and women out of their familiar environment, away from the influences that trigger overeating, and give them a chance to develop new skills and strategies. Once participants return home, they receive ongoing support and tips for creating a healthy environment at home.