Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but changing long-held behaviors is a skill in itself, a medical expert says.
To shed unwanted pounds and keep them off, people have to be ready to face some setbacks and keep on trying, said Dr. Jessica Bartfield, an internal medicine and medical weight-loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System.
“People need a motivation to lose weight and the new year is an opportunity to start fresh,” Bartfield said in a Loyola news release. “Behavior change is the cornerstone of healthy, successful weight loss and it takes about three months to establish a new behavior,” she pointed out.
“When you learn to ride a bike, you expect that you will fall down a couple times and are prepared to try again and get back on; you need to have the same expectation with weight loss and to plan accordingly,” she explained.
Only 20 percent of Americans who’ve tried to lose weight will keep the weight off after one year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.