There are two factors required for weight loss success: Motivation and Self-Confidence. Without both of these factors, an individual is less likely to properly engage with the physical factors affecting weight loss, such as diet and exercise.
Motivation can come from all sorts of places. For some people, they want to change their appearance, for others health is a motivator. Motivation can be particularly strong for people who have had family members with weight-related diseases. They have first-hand experience of what could happen to them if they don’t make certain lifestyle changes to be the healthiest version of themselves. Obesity has a greater effect on health than smoking, drinking and poverty combined. So health-based motivation is not so hard to find.
But motivation only goes so far. If a person does not have the confidence in themselves, they are less likely to be successful in achieving their weight loss goals. They are more likely to give in to temptation and to eat less healthy foods, or to avoid exercise. They may be less likely to push themselves as much as someone who is confident that they can lose weight. But low self-confidence is not something that is easy to overcome. Counselling, self-help or weight-loss groups, such as Slimming World can be really helpful for people with lower confidence. It’s also worth remembering that low-confidence can be a factor involved in weight gain - so the importance of building confidence should not be underestimated when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Continual difficulties with losing weight can also contribute to low-confidence, making it harder and harder for an individual to lose weight. So if you are trying to lose weight, or if someone you know is trying to lose weight, make sure they know the support that is available.
Even treatments such as Orlistat (Xenical), which reduce fat-absorption by the body, are much less effective if not combined with a healthy diet and exercise regime. With less motivation and less confidence, an individual is less likely to make these lifestyle changes, so even weight-loss medications will be less effective.
To help build confidence, break down a task, such as weight-loss, into small, more manageable steps. If you set a goal to lose weight, it can be hard to know where to start, but if you break it down into smaller steps, you can achieve them more quickly, and those small wins can really boost your confidence.
These two factors: motivation and self-confidence are also the basis of making loads of other life changes i.e. quitting smoking, moving on in relationships, getting fit and gaining proficiency in complex skills such as driving. Just think of how many things you’ve done well in, that you lacked the motivation and the self-confidence to do. Motivation and self-confidence are the first two steps on the road to success.