Losing Weight? Ssh - It's A Secret!

Two of my golden weight loss rules go against some of the most popular weight loss strategies around – setting goals and announcing your weight loss intentions to the world. Interestingly, a recent study supports what I’ve always known – that keeping your desire to get fit a secret is the best way to turn it into reality!

In a recent article on CNN.com, Jacque Wilson talks to Anita Mills, who weighed a seriously unhealthy 172 kilos when she decided to do something about her size. Alongside the usual advice about eating small, regular meals and avoiding sugary drinks, Mills’s doctor also suggested that she tell no one that she intended to lose weight. The results? Mills lost an incredible 110 kilos. More importantly, she’s kept it off.

So why is secrecy the secret to successful weight loss? There are several reasons. Firstly, setting goals and announcing them to everyone you know is actually a way of limiting yourself. Who knows what you’re capable of achieving, or how long it’ll take you to get there? Secondly, your nearest and dearest could be resistant to the idea of change, even if that change is going to benefit your health – however inadvertently, they could slow or stop your progress. Thirdly, as psychology Dr Peter Gollwitzer argues, announcing your intentions to others and then getting recognition for those intentions – for example, hearing people congratulate you for taking charge of your health, or telling you how good you look after you’ve lost those first few kilos – can trick you into thinking that you’ve achieved your goal already. What happens then? You stop trying. In your mind, you’ve already achieved what you set out to do.

So, once you’ve decided to lose weight, zip up your mouth – and, very soon, the next jeans size down!