Here’s an eye-opening statistic: 40 percent of mortality is related to behavior and unhealthy habits. Put another way, we are killing ourselves.
It’s clear that basic lifestyle adjustments such as eating right, exercising and losing weight are the best treatments for common chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. What hasn’t been clear is how to persuade individuals with these chronic conditions to make these adjustments — and more importantly, how to make them stick.
A landmark study – the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) – provided a window into how to encourage people to make these often-difficult lifestyle modifications.
The study followed more than 3,000 overweight Americans and put them on a weight-loss and exercise program. What was new about this study’s approach — and what ultimately made it so successful — was that it included health educators and coaches who worked closely with participants to keep them on track.
Over the course of six months, participants were encouraged to eat better and exercise more. They also were counseled on what they could do to overcome any barriers to making these lifestyle changes permanent.
The results were striking: Healthier habits translated into 5 to 7 percent of body weight loss and a 58 percent reduction in cases of Type 2 diabetes.
The study was a breakthrough in understanding what motivates behavior change.
If you are one of the many individuals that know they need to make lifestyle changes, but have had difficulty following through, you might want to consider working with a health coach.
If you would like more information, please contact me here for a complimentary consultation.