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The #1 Factor in Successful Weight Loss

December 31, 2016

Do you know what is the number one determining factor in successful weight loss and maintenance? It’s probably not what you think like eating healthy, prepared whole foods and being active with moderate exercise daily. Here’s a hint… The Mayo Clinic Diet published an article entitled, “Social support: A necessity for weight loss.” Joining a support group is the number one thing you can do to ensure successful weight loss! Research is showing that finding support for your weight-loss efforts can mean the difference between success and failure.

A 2010 study in the International Journal of Medical Informatics reported that, “Internet weight loss communities play a prominent role in participants’ weight loss efforts. Social support within Internet weight loss communities merits further evaluation as a weight loss resource for clinicians to recommend to patients. Understanding these communities could improve how health professionals evaluate, build, harness, and manipulate social support for weight loss.”

Eighty-eight participants out of 96 reported effective loss of body weight. For this reason, group participation and social support is proving to be an effective method for attaining weight loss for many people. In addition, group support appears to play a role in stress reduction as well. A 2006 study by the USDA showed that dieters who attended weekly support group sessions did not have a significant increase in cortisol, a stress-associated hormone, at the end of the study’s first week, but the unaided dieters did.

I had the opportunity to discuss this exciting research with Mary Gello and Marisa Nadeau, two participants in our Solving Your Weight Loss Puzzle 365 monthly support group, which is an adjunct to our ebook, “The Weight Loss Puzzle, Finally Solved.”

DH: What was it about this program that you knew was going to be different from any other program you’ve tried?

Mary: The group support was a tremendous help; unlike anything I’ve seen in other programs. To know that you’re not alone, that you’re struggling with the same issues as others and hearing their stories, struggles and victories pushes you forward. It makes me feel good and gives me accountability to help and support others and knowing you’re a part of a group effort rather than doing it by yourself. To know someone’s in your corner if you have a question – I’ve loved the access to you and Aimee and Dr. Frank and the ability to go on the Facebook page and get an answer immediately.

Marisa: What made it different for me was it was clear that I was going to be given tools and guidance to live a healthy lifestyle and, more importantly, sustain it. It wasn’t a quick-fix weight loss diet program, it was a well-rounded, practical approach to living a healthier lifestyle. Nutrition and exercise are of course key components, but it also included discussions about mindset, stress, sleep, and hormones—all things that factor in weight gain that fad diets don’t address. I could wrap my head around it because it made good sense.

DH: How would you describe the program to others?

Mary: It’s a lifestyle and a process. The diet (I don’t even like to call it that, because it’s really just a healthy eating plan) is really doable, nothing that’s fad or temporary. For exercise, I’ve always been a “do more” person. Even though I intuitively knew that didn’t work, I learned from you that sometimes we need to step back and not exercise so much. Your body responds so much better this way than exercising 7 days a week. But probably the most important aspect is the education about changing your whole mindset. Most programs don’t deal with that at all – how important it is, what’s going on in our heads that’s stopping us from reaching our goal.

Marisa: It’s so easy and perfection is not a requirement! Not that it doesn’t require effort and attention, but it really is a simple straight-forward program that is easy to implement in a busy life. You’ll learn how to balance your metabolism through nutrition and exercise but won’t be boxed into a specific meal plan or exercise plan. You’ll be given the knowledge and tools to figure out what works best for you as an individual. You will have the support of a relatable coach as well as the support of a group of women experiencing the same thing at the same time. Exercise was daunting to me, but the workouts are only 25-30 minutes long (and you can rest!) and you can do them all in the privacy of your own home (selling points for me!). Plus, you have 24/7 access to recipes, instructional exercise videos, and various support materials to help you be successful.

DH: What was the best thing that happened to you as a result of doing this program…besides losing the weight!?

Mary: I feel like I already knew what I needed to do to lose weight… but more importantly, doing this program helped me find the confidence to DO IT! Understanding the role my mindset plays and the strategies I’ve learned in dealing with negative self-talk helps me realize I’m not a failure if I make a few mistakes – I know what I have to do, and how to tweak things if I need to make adjustments in my eating or exercise. I don’t feel like I fail anymore because I know this is a process. It’s made me more confident to know that I can maintain this for my whole life.

Marisa: A conversation about mindset in the very beginning of the program—fixed vs growth—was a pivotal thing for me. I equate it to a clogged artery. My fixed thoughts about myself were clogging the artery and not allowing a clear passage of thoughts, ideas, self-love or anything else to easily flow through. It was limiting me. Moving to a growth mindset is allowing me improve, enjoy and open up to many more experiences and opportunities. It’s why I was successful in the program and I believe that it is going to move me forward in so many aspects of my life.

Submitted by Dr. Frank Aieta and Dr. Diane Hayden. This is just a sample of what our online monthly support program has in store for you. Please go to for more information and updates.

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