The #1 Habit You Should Have to Lose Weight

by Coach Stevo
Share it:
The #1 Habit You Should Have to Lose Weight

A while back, a few of my colleagues and I decided to write down every single weight-loss habit we have ever used ourselves or with our clients. In four days, we had listed 167 of them. That’s a lot. Recently I asked those 50 coaches to look at the list again and pick the one habit you should have to lose fat easily.

And it wasn’t on the list.

To be fair, a habit is sort of nebulously defined. I think we can all agree that a habit is anything you do regularly, but according to the definition we use in psychology, a habit also needs to be done automatically — as in, without really thinking about it. Which is why identifying habits by yourself is so hard. How can you think about the stuff that you don’t have to think about?

Which is probably why we missed this habit. And it’s exactly why this habit is so important for fat loss.

You see, all habits need a trigger — a little reminder that says, “Hey, you should do this action now.” They also need a reward — a little reminder that what you just did was a good thing. But these are really hard to identify by yourself because they happen below our level of consciousness. It’s really hard to remember new triggers, and it’s hard to remember to reward yourself. Habits are hard. But this is the one habit that makes all the other 167 habits on our list easy. As a result, we decided that The Number 1 Habit You Should Have to Lose Weight (™) is:

FINDING PEOPLE TO SHARE YOUR JOURNEY

Permanent lifestyle changes happen in relationships. Whether they take place with peers, a coach, family, friends, coworkers, the other anonymous people at the meetings or the other new recruits who joined the Marine Corps with you, new habits happen when people get together and help each other out.

Finding your own triggers are hard. Seeing other people’s is easy. Remembering to tell yourself, “Great job!” is hard. Remembering to tell other people is easy. Figuring out how to work new foods, new activities, and new steps into your own life is hard. Watching and learning from a whole bunch of other people like you who are trying to get to the same place you are is just so much easier! Even my colleagues, habit experts all, needed each others’ help to figure this problem out.


READ MORE > DO VIRTUAL RUNNING PARTNERS MAKE YOU FASTER?


I call this habit, this all-important,Number 1 habit, “Creating a community of consistency.” And it can be as big a commitment as hiring a coach, or as simple as telling a friend what you’re doing to lose weight or inviting them to join MyFitnessPal. Whatever you can do to share the load of learning, planning, remembering and rewarding will be one less thing you have to worry about.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be around a campfire singing kumbaya. Support doesn’t have to fluffy to be effective. In fact, my Marine Master Sergeant at the Berkeley Officer Selection Office taught me more than a thing or two about being consistent, and he sure as hell never sang kumbaya with me.

We sang Marvin Gaye.

Related

  • Blanster

    Excellent article – so true! I started playing pickleball in the past year and through that have met a group of very active people who have made me more active by watching/listening to them.

  • Jenny

    I think me, myself and I are enough of a community. I love my mfp friends and finding those whose attitude is most similar to my own has been beneficial emotionally, but it’s certainly not been key.

    • Guest

      I think when you’re involved

  • WW fan

    why I love weight watchers!

  • Jeremey

    Sooo….any chance I can get my hands on that list of 167?

  • LuckyLibby

    Love to see the other 167 “habits.” Move more, eat less…and?

    • TelluridePaul

      Where are the 167 habits?

    • Tammy Glaser

      Me too!

    • Sherri

      Me too

      • Shelley T

        My drill sergeant sung Chuck Berry…

      • Morgan Mochow

        I second that.. or third it I guess. I’d love to see the other list.

  • Kelly B

    This is exactly how I started and continued my weightloss journey! So true!!!

  • dap

    This is exactly the habit that would sabotage me the most. My weight loss would be all about them. My best weight loss performance is with no one looking on.

    • kcsunshiner

      My friends would (weight) me down …no pun intended, but waiting on others to join me at the gym would make me lose my momentum. I have to plunge forward. I try to go when I have a free moment.

      • Larry

        Stevo is suggesting that the motivation comes from relationships. The simple act of telling your spouse, friend or colleagues that you have started an exercise program help you commit to consistency.

        For me, having a walking buddy, took me from not being able to climb a flight of stairs 9 months ago to walking 5 miles a day.

      • mysteryuz

        I had the same issue. I had to find a happy medium. I go to the gym alone but I do 5Ks with friends or coworkers. I don’t depend on anyone but myself so if someone doesn’t show up I have to motivate myself.

    • canali

      exactly dap…and sometimes you’ll get people/coworkers who’ll say, when they see you, ”oh my you’re getting too thin, you don’t need to lose any more weight” (that’s because their only perspective of me is as a former fat f…k).

      thankfully, i’ve never needed to rely on others for extra motivation for weight loss.

  • I find this to be very true. I often see client struggle because their friends and family and unknowingly (sometimes knowingly) sabotaging their success. I also allow my clients to join my private FB group so that they can support and share with each other and get additional support from me as well. It takes a village….

  • CharPat

    I have lost about 50 pounds since last March, 40 of it since June 7th.(down from 275). Hearing positive comments from coworkers, relatives, and friends from church make me determined to keep it up. My favorite is when they say I am “melting away.”

  • Garlic7girl

    I agree. Like the article said it doesn’t have to be much. It can be group support or just a friend who said, “great job!” We all need community. If you notice any ‘addiction’ program has some individual and group counsel involved. Isolation rarely works. I would even say if you are in a bootcamp or group exercise club or run in an event you are gaining support…even if indirectly.

  • jandetlefsen

    that’s not a habit by any definition. doesn’t men that it;s less important but it’s just not a habit.

  • matt

    Did you actually try to trademark that phrase? Whoa.

    • dannyg61

      so funny

  • Cinnamon

    I disagree. Now I did hire a trainer, however, even he noticed that I would never hear him when he told me, “good job,” my focus was on doing what he asked or going beyond what he asked of me. When a co-worker wanted me to start a group to practice kick-boxing, it almost made me lose my love for it. I thrive alone, working out to my music and competing against myself and pushing myself farther than the last workout. The times I worked out with others – it was too easy to lose my motivation. They want to visit or talk or they rest too long between exercises….when I work out, I want to work out. Working out…it’s for me. Eating….people don’t understand my eating healthy and that choosing not to indulge does not mean that I am missing out on something…but that I choose…..I CHOOSE…to save my calories for something better. A wrong comment, a wrong look, talking too much instead of exercising, sabotages my workout/my plan of losing weight or maintaining my weight loss.

    • Amanda

      I agree with a lot of that. I love when one of my friends comes to the gym with me but because she’s not regular anymore she’s not as motivated/doesn’t know what to do and ends up being easily distractable which makes me distracted and less motivated. We have fun but I get a lot less done.

    • elle

      Cinnamon, I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t want to work out with friends… I don’t want to lift with them, I don’t want to run with them, etc. That being said, having a community or support system to help encourage you and keep you motivated is different, at least for me. While my partner doesn’t work out with me or follow the same meal plan, he’s very supportive and helps keep me accountable. My friends don’t work out with me, but I’ve made them aware of some of my fitness and food goals, and they encourage me to keep going until I reach them.

      Finding someone to share your journey doesn’t mean having someone lace up and run beside you every day. It can simply mean building a support community around you.

      • Eliot

        I agree! I don’t like to diet/exercise with someone. But having someone to keep me motivated sure helps. Back when I was in college, I had a friend I “competed” with about grades. We were in different classes, studying different fields. But just keeping track of each other kept us both motivated to do well.

      • mysteryuz

        I tried to workout with friends but they want to hold full conversations while walking very slow on the treadmill or tell me that I don’t need to lift ‘x’ amount of weight for ‘x’ exercise. Seriously? I have to keep explaining that if I lift heavy I’m not going to look like the hulk. Like ever.

        • Jennifer Thompson

          Yep. I’m guilty of chatting at every possible moment. I should never share a PT session because we get nothing done. I’m all for talking about it with friends away from the gym, but I have to work solo.

          • DaBoss

            I have seen so many PTs that are happy to chat away whilst you are paying for their time. The good ones however will keep you training so you exercise more than your mandibular muscles. It pays to have a look around the gym and see which ones have that skill and engage with them.

        • wabbitsan

          I’m not really into working out with friends, but I do much better working out with my husband. He’s a great workout partner. We have the same goals, the same limitations, we agree on when to stop for a break, what healthy snacks to eat. He motivates me more than working out alone.

  • Annie

    Years ago I joined Overeaters Anonymous. Having a sponsor who you committed your food to daily and eating 3 measured meals a day with no carbs enabled me to keep my weight off for years! a great program which unfortunately does not advertise and has very few meetings in my area.

  • Michelle

    I take lots of people on my journey, but they don’t necessarily ride with me! Sometimes, they just listen when I need to vent about how hard it is! Other times, I use them as a “what not to do” example, and they don’t even know it. Sharing is important, have you ever asked a question of someone, and as soon as you say it, you know the answer? Sometimes, just saying something to someone helps you to understand it better.

  • Leah Brett Dussault

    Some people were helpful with me, other people would see me eat a salad and call me anorexic. I was no where near my goal weight but some people just want to see me not get any thinner. Most of my friends had longer to go in their journey than me. Only needing to lose 20 pounds makes people judge you for trying so hard. I ended up getting discouraged at people telling me that I didn’t look healthy (FYI my BMI was ALWAYS on the high side of the healthy range. You couldn’t see any ribs. I still had jiggly parts) and gained a bunch back. Now eight months to my wedding and I’m relying on online communities of like minded people, not people who are overweight and can’t possibly understand why someone who only needs to lose 20 pounds would even consider losing weight.

    • Luci

      You give me inspiration and hope. I too only want to lose about 20 lbs but I also want to look less flabby and jiggly. I chose a vegetarian diet to help me cut back on unnecessary fats and carbs. My goal is to be able to wear the pants I wore before I had my twins. I’m just frustrated that every thing in my closet is too small. I didn’t even really gain a lot of weight, but I don’t think my csection helped.

      I just fear I’ll be judged for my eating choices. I’ve been called anorexic before and it kind of smashes your self esteem.

      • Leah Brett Dussault

        Im so happy someone agrees with me. This whole shaming people for their bodies thing needs to stop, skinny shaming is just as humiliating and scarring as fat shaming. It’s just that people who weigh more think they’re complimenting you by telling you that your healthy choices are wrong. It’s discouraging. I hope you lose your 20 pounds and feel sexy in your clothes again 🙂

    • Camigwen

      Congrats to you for getting motivated before the weight gain got out of control. In my experience it is just as hard to lose 20 pounds as it is 50! I hope your wedding is everything you hope for, I’m positive you will be a beautiful bride.

      • Leah Brett Dussault

        Thank you, that really made me feel great 🙂

    • SuePedB

      I’m REALLY proud of you & your determination, it’s inspirational. You WILL get those 20 pounds off before your wedding & I’m just as positive you’ll find the healthy way to keep it off. Motivation comes in so many different forms! We’re unique, it’s what makes us tick. What folks (coaches, are YOU listening???) ALWAYS forget is that what works for 1 doesn’t always work for another. True, it’s vital to have a strong support system; however, it’s just as vital that that support system be the right one to enhance and support what YOU, #1 @ the top of the list, needs. Case in point: I turned 58 on Sunday. I joined a gym a year ago, hoping, praying, to avoid having weight loss surgery. I was born a butterball! 8.9 pounds, 15 inches long, I was rounder than I was long. My entire life I’ve battled bitterly with weight & multiple, major health issues including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, a pacemaker @ age 38, arthritis of the spine, degenerative joint/disc & 2 degenerative scoliosis issues (I have 38 screws, 8 titanium rods, 8 levels of fusion in my spine, metal plates & screws in both feet, with surgery to repair an arthritic hand/elbow is being scheduled in April). Constant orthopaedic injuries, stress fractures, osteopenia, & the like have been the norm for me my entire adult life. I’d join a gym & health or injury would force me to drop out. My endocrinologist convinced me to have the weight loss surgery which I did last June. Despite 2 life threatening complications post-op, for me, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made & I’d do it again in a heartbeat, knowing full well I’d have those same complications! Would I recommend the surgery to everyone? NO! Why? What’s right for ME may not be right for YOU! (I’m down 70 pounds, feel incredibly well, have had no further injuries, & most happily of all, now thoroughly enjoy going to a gym I absolutely love going to 5 days a week &, surprise of surprises, very early in the morning, easy to do because I’ve got so much more energy, plus long weekend walks. I used to HATE sweating, a lot of overweight folks do because it’s so miserably uncomfortable with chafing & horrible rashes requiring medical attention, but it’s so easy now. I’ve got 60-80 pounds more to lose). My husband has been wonderful through it all, giving me the space I need to decide if groups are for me – they’re NOT!!! But it’s good to know there ARE groups available if I need that type of support. Happy wedding & healthy life to you & your beloved!

      • Leah Brett Dussault

        Thank you so much! Your story inspires me! It’s hard for us who are otherwise healthy to recognize that some people need to make the kinds of decisions you did. We tend to look down on it without realizing that some people have a legitimate medical problem that requires surgery. I’m very happy for you and thank you for your support 🙂

  • I think the #1 habit is going to be different for every individual. That said, accountability is huge for me. Definitely good to have someone that shares the same goal nearby.

  • Katie Main

    I gained weight when I was trying to work out and eat “healthy” with others. When I quit the team and focused on me, I dropped back down to my weight before my son. I do hear often that I’m too skinny but I’m 33 and still fit clothes from high school. I mostly work out at home on my Total Gym before my son gets up and sometimes I run in the park while he rides his bike. Btw, he’ll be 9 next month. I don’t agree that you need others. I believe it’s more important that you decide to prioritize taking care of you.

  • AshCierra

    One of my coworkers and I have recently started working out together at our college gym and we realized quickly we need each other to keep the other motivated to go and accountable. We have very similar goals in mind and having the same reason to kickstart our motivation helped out a ton. I definitely agree that some sort of accountability system is a necessity. I’d always find excuses to not work out before but with my friend helping me, I’m a whole heck of a lot more successful this time around. We don’t do the exact same workout (I am working towards being able to run a 5k this year and she isn’t) but I’m always shied away from weights until now. We’ve even stopped fast food together. I’m grateful to have an awesome accountability partner in her.

  • Meg

    I don’t like exercising with friends or my spouse. I once walked with a friend who was also on a diet at the same time I was. She was very competitive, I don’t have a competitive bone in my body. She always had to lose more, walk faster or farther, than I did, and wasn’t happy unless she was ahead. I got so tired of her comparisons that I stopped walking with her. I started doing exercise videos at home, alone, behind closed doors. I ended up losing more weight than she did (% of body weight) and kept it of a lot longer than she did. She never wanted to diet or exercise with me again – because she wasn’t first.

  • TiffanyJewelz

    I think having maybe online support, Dr. support, support @ the gym is great. But finding support from your family, friends and co-workers is a two edged sword. Others have their own agendas and may or may NOT want to see you succeed. You need to beware of who you entrust your goals and feelings too.

  • KewlChick

    Finding people to share your journey to me means finding NEW people to share with, not involving the ones you already know. I totally agree that working out with my family or friends makes it harder for me to really get in a good workout (with the exception of my little sister who is fiercly competitive). So i have had to meet new like-minded buddies to eat healthy with and to workout harder with. Because these new buddies were closer to their goals than I, they have been able to offer many great tips and also make me feel so comfortable in pursuing my goals (rather than drag me down). Finded like-minded people is the key to sharing. Now I feel more accountable at the gym when I see them and automatically eat better when I’m around them. Make new friends, but kee the old, one is silver and the other’s gold, right :):) I know whom to eat pizza with and whom to eat cruciferous veggies with!

  • hqmpest

    I disagree, personally I believe the No 1 habit should be “to control what you eat”; there is far more to be gained in weight loss by reducing the volume that you eat rather than can be gained by spending hours at the gym, and for those that are struggling to do physical activity that should be music to your ears. Doing physical activity only accelerates the amount of weight loss. If you continue to consume as much as you did before and carry out some physical training then the loss of weight will be only minimal. My strategy has not been about counting calories (which makes everything difficult and complicated) rather I decided if it looked fantastic or tasted scrummy then it was probably full of sugar or salt and not good for me to eat (full of calories and I would want more than the 1). By applying such a simple test to what I eat I can decide to have a glass of wine etc every now and then with friends without feeling I have to ask for something boring when I enjoy wine, have a glass by all means or 2 have a sweet or 2 but not the bottle/packet every day, make them a treat and treat them as such. And the weight will disappear. Good Luck and I hope this advice inspires/helps someone else.

  • LBtexas24

    Sorry but you have to count on yourself FIRST…dependency on others is just a crutch.

    • davedave12

      are you still alone

  • Akatshouse

    I’d love to at least have the top twenty/thirty to review. Thaks.

  • JSNSR

    Make sure the people who share your journey are on your side and want you to succeed. It is rare to find

  • pauleky

    And what if you don’t have that kind of support? Few friends and no family where you live?

    • Linda

      If that is the case then use sites like this one to help motivate you.

    • Marcy Runkle

      There are so many online support communities that are perfect for people like yourself. Get involved with MyFitnessPal, or the ‘loseit ‘ subreddit on reddit. Both friendly and supportive communities.

  • Hilary

    I run solo because it’s my way of escaping a hard work day. It’s me, the trails, my music, the sun on my face, my dog, and no one to talk to. Some people use exercising as a way to wind down. Not having to spend brain power speaking to someone allows me to better focus on my PRs! I choose to socialize afterwards (with some wine!). Perhaps I’m just your typical introvert 🙂

  • v

    while finding your “trigger” and losing weight with someone else is
    great. I have lost inches on different places on my body through
    exercise but did not lose weight. I feel better,posture is better.

  • Mary McHenry

    By the time I finished reading this boring article, I was looking for trigger to shot myself…

    • Linda N

      That was so mean Mary. Maybe this isn’t the right site for you.

    • Liz

      Lighten up, Mary!

  • Mary McHenry

    oops…see I just couldn’t wait to pull the tri
    gger…”shoot” not shot

    • Linda

      Perhaps you should find another site to read?

  • Denise

    yeah, I agree that finding others to help in your journey would be idea, but it’s not. There is too much competiveness with women. I had a lady I was losing weight with who became angry that I was losing weight much faster than her. Quite hostile actually. Her hostility discouraged me because I felt I lost a friend, when I realized she was unable to be happy for me.

  • This really depends on the person – having other people on my “journey” has absolutely no effect on me.

  • MissPoo

    How true! After recovering from a triple bypass my friend and I started an early walking plan. Lost the weight and the heart issue got sooooooo much better. Then triple negative breast cancer…..double mastectomy and got lazy. Finally she helped me to get back into it. Doing awesome now even if I am now 64! Size 6 and happy happy happy!!! I even have a handsome man in my life. Woohoo!

  • Peter Putnam

    Darn it!! I was hoping it was exercise or something else I’m already doing really well, but not my weakness which is other people… my networking skills stink, and I’m a loner by nature, however the school I work at just sent out an email saying to join this group of town employees to work out for free!! Might be my cue….

  • Lorilie

    I have tried loosing weight with others. Every time they cheat, then I cheat. It gives me the reason to cheat. If they fail, then I fail. And it always happens : {

  • Lizaray116

    We all want the full list of 167 healthy habits! Please share!!!!!!!

  • Joyce

    It took a friend of mine to really hurt my feelings and although I cried because I was so very hurt, I guess it was a wake up call. . .I had showed her a picture of me from a couple years ago where I was like 30 pounds lighter and she said I don’t remember you looking that good. . .yep it hurt me badly but now I am determined to get fit and healthy.

  • Mo

    I was so excited to read about this one habit! Unfortunately, “support” has never been my strong suit. I am a loner & have no family — I’m obese so the idea of having an audience for my struggle is totally unappealing. However, I do find weight tracking & calorie counting work great for me, if I can just maintain the self-esteem to push on after the inevitable failures. I tried MFP before & it didn’t take but this time, with all the measurement features of the premium version, I’m 3 weeks in & have lost 3lbs (107 to go haha!). My head’s in the right place & I know I’ll make it even though it’s going to take 2 years.

  • Edwina Dawn Howard

    I do better not having to plan around other people. I don’t have anyone to support me. I have enough excuses of my own and I hate it when excuses are made as to why something to better oneself is not possible. I am always the one doing the supporting so I prefer to do things on my own. I don’t have time nor energy to include other people.

    • Meredith H.

      I agree with your comments, Edwina. I am the same way. Not everything has to be shared. Good luck on your journey.

      • Edwina Dawn Howard

        Thank you, Meredith. Good luck on your journey.

  • Liz Hochberger

    Totally agree!!! I have never been as fit as I was the 10 years I spent as a competitive swimmer (age 12 – 22)… I might have to look for a masters team to join. When you have a coach and team practices, it definitely becomes a habit. I was far from being the fastest on the team, but I never skipped practice.

  • RuinaKessel

    You’re right, it wasn’t what I thought. And I don’t agree. I’d argue the number one habit to have is to get back up when you ‘fall’, to take anything that would be described as a failure and make it a thing you learn from. Ate too many calories one meal? Instead of getting upset, make a note, maybe figure out why you did, recommit and move forward. The best part? If you can do that for yourself, you don’t need anyone else to do it for you. THAT is the number one habit that helps me with everything, not just getting healthier.

  • Kat

    That’s awesome! You guys should have a “group” part of the app to share with your friends, not just a discussion page 🙂

  • Katalina Tongotea

    i workout with my boyfriend and it helps lots plus we compete with each other and help motivate and push one another i love this

  • Captain Jeff

    Speaking for myself, I would disagree. The #1 thing would be DETERMINATION…without it, nothing would be accomplished. I have a perfect vegetarian diet plan & workout routine & prefer to go it alone. My workout is my meditation…time to forget about the rest of the world for 2 hours or so.

  • Garth Delikan

    I think sharing your journey is a fabulous “habit” to get into as it’s always much easier to do something difficult when you have support.

  • Fitcoach99

    I’ve written a post recently on how online communities actually detract from my success. However, it’s extremely important that your close circle embraces your plans and supports them rather than try to derail your progress with temptation.

    More closely related to this post though, having a friend along with you can help with accountability and motivation. Although, I can personally think of 3 or 4 more important things that will increase chances of success.

  • lovethyneighbor

    Being married with kids has left me to lose a lot of friends b/c we were the first of my friends to marry. They couldn’t understnad why I wanted to create a lasting relationship with my then boyfriend instead of spending time with them every minute. Now after 12 years of marriage, I do not have any of those old friends and making new ones is hard when you have a busy life of kids, school, sports, work etc. The one friend that I do have is a SAHM like myself and she laughs and makes jokes every time I try to involve her in working out with me. She has no interest in working out regardless. I no longer go to the gym due to the kids were getting sick from being in the daycare at the gym with other sick kids. I have a desire to work out but with no motivation, support or anyone to watch the kids for me it is hard to get it in.

  • Tess

    The only person I truly enjoy working out with is my 25-year-old daughter. She and I are at the same fitness level and she’s all business like I am when it comes to a workout. I have several gym friends that tend to want to talk more than work out and I end up staying at the gym later than planned to get a full workout in.

  • Adam

    Really? That was a waste of time reading that. Nice pitch to get more people on myfitnesspall. Trying to keep up with others in a community is often times a recipe for disaster, people push too hard to fast trying to keep up with that really fit friend. They don’t know their limitations then they are over trained and done before they got started, but hey you got someone to download myfitnesspall so who cares.

  • RevBill

    No doubt this is helpful advice, but it is not a habit.

  • ray moreau

    Thats nice everyone is equal go back to crossfit steve. The number one habit is consistency every day in and out you grind to get what u want. Nobody needs help its your own problem man or woman up get to work no days off till it pays off.

  • Fortress o DOOOOOM

    I don’t disagree with this article, necessarily. I can definitely see how the support of friends or family would help some people. But for me, I can’t operate with a bunch of different voices in my ear constantly. Last February I joined a gym without telling anyone and tried a few pieces of equipment out (weighing just over 300 lbs). I found that the elliptical machine was easiest on my knees, so I started with that. Now, 10 months later, I have dropped 60 lbs and am able to run on the treadmill and actually do full pull ups! I don’t try to kill myself at the gym, all I do is monitor my heart rate and try to get 45 minutes in 4 to 5 times a week. Along the way last year I did a cleanse for a week, during which my family (God bless them) CONSTANTLY tried to sabotage me by inviting me to have burgers or putting deserts or candy in front of me, knowing full well I couldn’t eat them. Basically my point is, if you can’t get yourself motivated…what will you do if your support group goes away?

  • cattail722

    While I think this is true for a lot of people, it is not true for me. I do not enjoy working out with other people. I find that I end up waiting for them, or they don’t show up, etc. or we don’t work out at the same pace and it either slows me down or them. This is why I have a gym at home. If I had to go somewhere to work out, it would never happen. If I had to rely on someone else, it would never happen. I make it happen or not, but it is my battle/challenge and I don’t like to share that with anyone. Perhaps this is because I am an only child and have always had to rely on myself for company and everything, really.

  • karen skadberg

    I used to be a runner averaging 18 miles a week. Through injury from plantar facitis and aging there are aerobic activities I just can’t do anymore unless I take pain meds to work through it. So with less activity the weight came on of course. Both my husband and I have done a lot of studying and research about how sugar affects the insulin usage in our bodies. We have found that eliminating those refined carbs and simple sugars (read: sugar, potatoes and grains) and increasing lean protein we lost weight. We don’t feel hungry. We encourage each other to keep vigilant. We explore new foods to try. We have successes and failures. I used to believe in calories in calories out but that theory is flawed. The book “Why We Are Fat” is a good easy read packed with research. I encourage anyone interested in a different way to read it.

  • VilcaAmazon

    Nightmare for introverts. Wish extroverts would learn that everything is NOT about them and how they best function in the world, until stop telling everyone else what to do, because it is not not helpful.

  • Kathy Wood Morris

    In the gym I am completing against myself. I do ask others for advice and help with form

  • cecile anderson

    I don’t need a partner to stay fit as I’ve found joy in my yoga practice. I’ve made friends at my yoga studio, but I don’t have to plan to meet them there. If I run into them in the same class, great, if not, great.

    I actually prefer solo meditative trips up the nearby mountains that border my city. I do go urban hiking or biking with my husband, but we do that as a way to be together more than a promise to make sure we exercise.

    What works for me in losing weight is having a written eating plan for the day. Just jotted notes, nothing extreme. If I have a food plan for the day, including snacks, I do better and don’t roam the fridge or the cabinets (and find my family’s potato chips, etc.) This means I’ve taken the time to have the right foods in the house, perhaps already prepared.

  • Dina

    I am overweight and started working on a “new me” almost 3 years sgo. I have a few friends that compliment me now and then, but none of my friends or family are into diet and fitness, so I have had to find ways to motivate myself and keep myself accountable. The fitness part isn’t a problem, but keeping on track with healthy eating & portion control are daily struggles. Yes, I could go find a support group or join a fitness class, but I don’t like working out with others or talking to strangers about my issues. I’m glad most people have folks in their lives to support them, just recognize that many of us don’t. Motivation & accountability can be found within one’s self, and I would argue that is most important since friends, family, coworkers, etc. come and go but we always have to live with ourselves and if you can’t hold yourself accountable, then you have bigger issues than worrying about fitness & nutrition.

  • Greg Dahlen

    Well, for me I’m not really involved with others but so far I’m successful at maintaining a normal weight. For me it works to be tuned in to my body and, when I’m full, just stop eating.

  • lalaland

    thats a lie.. i lost weight without any support all i need is me

    • davedave12

      you need to look up lie in the dictionary

  • This is exactly how I started with my weight-loss journey. Very true!

  • You can also use weight loss tablets for accelerating your weight losing campaign. The weight losing tablets by the brand obesidat are purely ayurvedic and have no side-effects. you can check more details about these medicines.

  • Nancy Taylor

    Guess I can expect to pile on the 180# I lost.

  • Patricia Tull Thomas

    This is my biggest problem finding someone to hold me accountable. I work out now when I am able but I have fallen off “the band wagon” big time. I’ve gained all my weight back in a very short time and am so upset with myself. I keep letting others know, some say they will help, but because of their own busy lives, they don’t and what started to be a good thing went bad. I struggle so hard in this area and I know for sure it’s on me too, but this is a hard thing to keep up when doing it all alone and resources are limited. My walking has come to a stop due to my feet problems and too hot for my dog who was the reason behind me getting out. I know that’s just an excuse for many but it true. Living in Europe it was so easy just to go out and walk in the woods, here in the states I wouldn’t dare.
    I keep up with my fitness pal but that too has just shone me how completely off track I have gone–I’m not giving up– because I want to be around for my grandkids and be active in their lives more than I am now.

  • Mary Crea

    I seem to workout best and most efficiently on my own.

  • Cam Evenson

    I can’t workout with friends, they always have some other idea about how to eat and work out and seem to know better then the trainer or doctor. And yet, their workout and physical appearance isn’t really benefiting from the advice they are giving me. So I would say it is all “hot air”. I think it is better to secure a common goal work out friend, one who see the same plight as you and helps to direct each to a better you. Often life challenges bring to light those who are truly friends and those who are just “hangers on” that are not keeping your interests honourable.

  • David McCormick

    I was in a program earlier this year and the nutrition component reps suggested having a mantra or a picture as a reminder of what I was engaged in. That has worked quite well. I am not dependent on others and can see the purpose of my mission. Daily weighing also can be supportive when moving in the right direction.

  • Frank Curtis

    My problem is I’m very consistent about exercise but none of my weak friends can get on my level! Haha I’m kidding about calling them weak, but seriously most of them are so stuck in their own inaction and excuses that it’s entirely up to me to constantly add new kettle bell fat burning routines to my repertoire. It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting targeted marketing on facebook geared towards RKC certified kettle bell trainers. Maybe I should get certified and make some cash from it?

  • Karen Elliott

    I would like to see the full list of habits you compiled.

  • Holly Cole

    I would like to see the list you created.

  • Linda R.

    I guess the key is to find someone who is as motivated as you are. Luckily for me its my daughter. We exercise together and push one another when the other is lacking in motivation or the control it takes to say no to bad choices, as in fast foods.

  • Jolene

    You said, “In fact, my Marine Master Sergeant at the Berkeley Officer Selection Office taught me more than a thing or two about being consistent,” Can you expand on this?
    I need more ideas about just doing it. Like brushing your teeth in the morning is habit and you just do it without thinking. That’s what I need regarding exercise. Right before going to the gym, I’m constantly saying to myself, “ugh, I really don’t want to go. Maybe I should just take today off.” How do I get rid of those thoughts completely and just go to the gym without any second thoughts popping in my head. And I do have friends that I work out with so that is not an issue.
    Any suggestions?

    • Jan

      I make a note on my calendar-in advance-“gym or “workout.” That way I treat it like an appointment and it helps keep me accountable. I love checking it off when I follow through and go!

  • Sharing that journey with others was a barrier to me because
    it is soooooo challenging to find people on my same path who want to work out with me when I want to work out or who have the same willpower I have when faced with strawberry cheesecake. I do much better without them. However, the number one tip for me is logging everything I put in my mouth, even down to a stick of sugar-free gum. That helps me stay focused and be cognizant of what I have eaten for the day. If I try to remember, I get cloudy whether the biscuit I ate was for breakfast today or yesterday. Sometimes, I forget as soon as the meal is over. So, I track it all, and that helps me a lot. I don’t think anything helps me more than that.

  • Talya Solomon

    Introverts are different than extroverts in that were pretty good at self motivating . I also think that over relying on people can backfire since there not always that reliable .

  • Sheilah

    Other than changing the way you eat, this is true. In my quest for healthy living, I decided to take on a six-week challenge of nutrition adjustment and working out. My dear friend decided to join me and we both accomplished what we set out to do. And even now that the initial challenge is over, we’ve moved on to lifestyle changes of tracking macros and figuring out how to eat healthy but enjoyably. We have each other to lament to about making these adjustments as well as share accomplishments and goals. We also “fall off the wagon” for treats and such, but are there with each other when we get back on.

  • Ailani Yomeili

    yes, this email was stupid. I don’t like to workout with other people. for one, I have no one to so it with. all of my friends are lazy & have no goals. 2, just like some others said, they aren’t serious, just want to talk thru the workout. 3, I like to listen to music & do my own thing & keep focused. I don’t want anyone around me disturbing me. I am six billion times better off without a workout partner, it would just hold me back. nice try myfitnesspal. but you failed this time.

  • Captain Jeff

    I completely disagree with the #1 habit. Another person would actually drag me down & hold my progress back. I throw music on to kick my workout up
    I lost 30 pounds in 60 days in 2012. I have since put most of that back on. I know why & I know how to change it, I just gotta do it. So here’s my strategy & how i did it:

    1.Eat Right….I have a friend who studied Holistic Nutrition put me on a diet. I am vegetarian, so it was based on high lean protein, cut sugar out of diet (except what is naturally in foods) & eating every 2 hours to keep metabolism going.

    2. Exercise….I followed a year long workout program I found in a fitness mag a while back. Muscle burns fat. I did a lot of low impact cardio (elliptical). The program had 4 phases & is based on Periodization….look it up if you’re not familiar with the term.

    3. Cut It Out….Figure out what the #1 cause of weight gain is & cut it out of diet completely. Yes it is hard, but my #4 in this list will get you through it. My #1 cause of weight gain is/was Captain Morgan & Coke, better known as sugar on sugar. I cut alcohol out completely. When I started Captain & Coke again I gradually started gaining weight (fat, not muscle).

    4. DETERMINATION….without it you will not eat right and/or exercise and you will go back to that #1 cause of YOUR weight gain

  • brandydadog

    If you have to count on someone else to keep you motivated, you have lost the fight.

  • I agree with many others here: I don’t need the burden of fellow-travelers. This is my project and I had to discover my own means and motivations. Fourteen months and 100 fewer pounds later, I’m still at it, alone. For motivation I think of the remorse I would feel whenever I miss a gym day. For maintaining my calorie deficit I use MyFitnessPal. I do my own shopping and cooking and rarely dine out. For me, this is really a solitary activity. I get my social interaction and companionship from other activities (theater, concerts, fraternal organization, alumni groups etc.)

  • Gini Freemyer

    It would be difficult to find someone more introverted that I am, but I think it really helps to cultivate a group of active friends. Not a work-out buddy, but friends that like to go for walks, hikes, picnics, bike rides, rather than watch tv, drink and pigout. Or even just be sedentary. I don’t have to go every time someone asks.

  • Michael Mathews

    I find having an accountability person is the biggest help. Sometimes I can coordinate my schedule to go to the gym with someone, but having someone ask me on the scheduled days if I’ve gone to the gym keeps me from blowing it off when I don’t feel like going.

  • kykaku

    I don’t agree with the other’s dependency point. To loose weight is an habit and a lifestyle that cannot depend from the others, just like as to go bed, to eat, to train, to execute physiological actions, all of them at a time most convenient to you. I can’t imagine, for example, to have to wait for friends or colleagues every time I have to train. If it is an habit it is already intrinsic to you. Suppose, in the limit, that all of those members you found initially to help you to loose weight change lifestyle or place. Now what? Find another group? Quit and trash all the work done? For those not self motivated enough, it is well rewarded an initial time investment in creating an habit of self motivation, change in lifestyle including, as inconvenient as it can be, certain cultural habits, and obviously, to get as much info as already referenced. A combination of all is a plus.

  • Homer Slated

    Surely the #1 habit needed to lose weight is … eat less.
    Or is that too obvious?

    • Ida Byrd-Hill

      Not necessarily. I trained for a marathon faithfully for 6 months. I did not lose a pound. I spoke to a nutritionist who increased my calories from 2000 to 3000 a day. Im 2 weeks I lost 15 pounds. My exercise was far in excess of my calories and hence my body went into starvation mode holding onto the fat.. I wish I knew that early on. I could have dropped 60 lbs

  • Daren Olsin

    This is the reason people statistically have higher rates of success with Personal Trainers, Life Coaches etc.
    Good ones will “share their journey”, (even if it is at a price).

    Imagine how successful people would be at work, if they just made all their own plans to suit themselves when they like, stay home, or turn up, any time, up to you.. Recipe for rapid failure.

    Commitment to others (and fear of letting people down) is stronger than our commitment to ourselves. The joy of success shared is also greater.

    • Daren Olsin

      The biggest obstacle people have to get over is themselves (selfishness)… Change “it’s all about me” to, “how can I help this person achieve our common goal”, and have your Commitment Partner do the same, then someone always has your back, and your chances of success are multiplied.

  • paul merriman

    Friends? What are those? 🙂

  • It seems that like so many companies out there, MyFitnessPal is catering to extroverts while ignoring the introverts. Especially based on all the comments below about how people feel better working out on their own instead of with others.

    The article also doesn’t differentiate between finding a partner that’s helpful and motivational to finding a partner who drains your energy. For humans, one size never really fits all but again, this article assumes it does. I’m thinking of unsubscribing to MyFitnessPal because it keeps sending me these articles that do not help 🙁

    • Mark Finewood

      I’m also an introvert and I don’t care to have a workout partner accompany me on my workout but it is nice to have a fitness partner check in on me once in a while. For example, a friend I met at the gym I work out at is 71 years old and is there every day. So when I’m feeling lazy, I think about her, how dedicated she is and how she probably doesn’t feel like being there every day either.

  • Beata Lata

    I have to say it, even though negativity first thing in the morning is a big no-no for me: This article smacks of a pyramid scheme, a dubious claim or both. It hooks you with a really catchy headline, and then takes for ever to get to the point and, at the end, says very little. If you are serious about this, Coach Stevo, and I’m sure you are, consider rewriting it, so it’s actually educational instead of frustrating. “Frustrating” can turn off people who need your advice the most.

  • confused

    On my fitness pal, what should I keep my calories,macronutrients, heart healthy, low carb, or set as custom? Also when im tracking my breakfast, lunch, snack , supper do I track every little item or do I lookup the dinner part.