If you’re like many New Year’s resolutionists, chances are good you’re struggling with your 2014 goals by now (assuming you haven’t bailed on them completely—no judgment, we’ve been there). And if you’re someone who has managed to stick to your commitment of weight loss, you may find yourself feeling frustrated that you haven’t made more progress. Take heart: for all the sensationalizing commercials and ads about how quickly someone’s pounds melted away, there are plenty real people in their world making modest, but positive, progress toward their weight goals.
According to the National Weight Control Registry—comprising more than 10,000 people who’ve lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least one year, and who provide real information on successful weight loss—shedding the pounds may take longer than you’d think: the NWCR Facts page shows that “Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly—over as many as 14 years.” While many of us can reach our goal weight sooner than that, putting our seemingly slow progress in perspective is helpful. Think about it this way: How long has it taken you to put on the excess pounds? Given that eating extra calories is a heckuva lot easier than burning them off, it’s understandable that weight loss is challenging and can take some serious effort and time. (Side note: peruse the “Success Stories” page on the NWCR website anytime you’re looking for some inspiration. There’s some pretty incredible stuff there.)
But if you’re maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not seeing the scale budge, you might need to look in some unexpected places for additional hindrances to meeting your goal weight. For starters, watch this video from Dr. Oz—you may be surprised to hear his not-so-obvious weight-loss suggestions. And then consider making an appointment with a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer, all of whom are likely to help you identify additional steps you can take to attain your goals.