We all know that being overweight or obese increases our risk of developing high blood pressure. In fact, your blood pressure rises as your body weight increases. Losing even 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure—and losing weight has the biggest effect on those who are overweight and already have hypertension.
But losing weight isn’t that easy is it. So how can we lose weight and keep it off?
That is where Professor Dan Ariely and SHAPA come in!
Dr. Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He is the author of the bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Dollars and Sense and Amazing Decisions — as well as the TED Book Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations. He is also co-creator of the film documentary (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.
Through his research and his (often amusing and unorthodox) experiments, he questions the forces that influence human behavior and the irrational ways in which we often all behave. We thought you’d be interested so we asked the folks at Shapa to tell you about it.
Another Year of Resolutions?
In 2022, an estimated 164 million Americans set new year’s resolutions. Many of them fall in the category of health, wealth, and self-improvement. According to U.S. News, 80% of resolutioners fail by the second week of February. It is quite common to place blame on setting too aggressive of goals, having unexpected events come up, or not having enough will power.
No matter the cause, at some point people simply lose commitment. According to behavior scientist Dan Ariely, the same device we use to track our weight can actually serve as a commitment tool. According to Ariely, it isn’t just a tool for measuring weight, but also “a commitment device serving as a reminder to care about what our weight is”.
So if weighing in daily is going serves as a daily commitment, how can it simultaneously work against us?
1. Fluctuations and Confusing Data
Weight fluctuations are perfectly normal whether you are trying to lose weight or not. It can be the result of many things including hydration level, sodium intake, medications, and even the actual weight of the food. Often we expect the behavior we exhibit on any given day to show up on the scale the next morning. While this is sometimes true, it is often not. We often believe more data is better.
However if your scale is showing that you went up one-third of a pound, you may become confused or demotivated. The example below demonstrates a small segment of what sustainable weight loss looks like.
During these 6 weeks, this individual actually went up in weight 36 times compared to their previous measurement. That’s 47% of their weigh-ins! How would you feel if you worked hard for 6 weeks to lose weight and your scale told you that you failed.
2. Scale Aversion
Research has shown the pain of losing something is twice as psychologically harmful as the pleasure from gaining that same item. Think about the last time you received $20 in a holiday card. It probably felt nice, but not something you dwell upon all day. However, if somehow the $20 bill fell out of your pocket while running errands, it may feel like you lost a small fortune.
The same applies to weight. While losing a pound is nice, gaining a pound can take such an emotional toll that we lose motivation and give up completely. Even though the end result is positive, can you imagine the pain this individual experienced 36 times stepping on the scale?
3. Plateaus and Maintenance
As described in the videos above, weight loss isn’t perfectly linear. While following a program, we will have periods of weight fluctuation. We also must remember life happens. In the effort to lose weight, we often draw a line in the sand and put maintenance on the same side as gaining weight. This is the result of us looking to the scale as our reward for the effort spent.
If the number doesn’t change, we experience no reward and often give up. However by traditional standards, if you maintain your weight 35 weeks and experience weight loss 17 weeks, that has been a successful year.
4. Outcome Focused
Your scale provides you with data based on your current body composition. Without focusing on the behaviors that drive results, long-term sustainable weight loss will be a challenge. It is important to set achievable behaviors and not just focus on the outcome.
If these are experiences that have caused you to lose motivation and give up, you’re not alone. Rather than blaming yourself, we should shift our focus instead to why we continue to use a tool that causes us to experience pain even when we are on the right path. Traditional scales may be well suited for calculations, but don’t aren’t tools designed to psychologically support our weight loss journey.
Now Is The Time To Make A Change
If you are ready for a change, try SHAPA. SHAPA is the completely new revolutionary numberless scale that provides a 5-color feedback and daily missions that nudge you toward sustainable success. Users experience a 5% loss in body weight over 6 months and 95% of active users maintain or continue to lose weight after a year. Get your SHAPA today using the PROMO CODE: RESPERATE20 to save $20 on your 12-month SHAPA program and start seeing results today!
Find out more about SHAPA HERE.