For 10 years, I’ve been the force behind MyBodyTutor.com, which simplifies the weight-loss process into practical, sustainable behaviors that help you lose weight and actually keep it off. It hasn’t always been easy, but I believed enough in my program to quit my comfortable job for it. I’ve since made a career out of working with clients who have "tried everything" but just haven’t managed to keep the weight off. One client had attempted 16 different programs before finding success with me. 

The truth is, you can lose weight with almost any program, but sustaining that weight loss is a different story altogether. My program has been a success because clients can fly the nest after acquiring the necessary skills—I don’t want anyone to come back as repeat business. Here the top weight-loss strategies that make my clients so successful. 

Meet Jill. 53 pounds gone with MBT. Her motivation to get in shape were her children. "I want so much to be there for them for as long as I can, to see them grow into adults, have children of their own, etc. More importantly, I was realizing how important it was for me to be a good role model for them in their health, and I could see all sorts of signs that I was passing my bad habits onto them and wanted to change course before it is too late." She had tried all sorts of things since college. None of them stuck because they were unsustainable. Like many, she knew what she should be eating but needed help staying consistent. "I was never able to find what I was looking for. I didn’t think that a session every other week was going to work." Thankfully, she eventually heard about us. "MBT believed that in order to change your habits for good, you need a customized and practical approach. One of the many differences was in their delivery - daily support and accountability. I knew this was going to be such a different experience from my first feedback from my tutor. It wasn’t someone just reading through my log and providing generic daily feedback. It was about my tutor guiding ME. It was all the things I was hoping for when I joined: practical, sustainable, and customized." How did it go? "My goals were to develop healthier eating habits and to lose 40-50 lbs and I exceeded my goals for both. I have lost 53 lbs and think about food completely differently now. I have dealt with all sorts of curve balls with great success because of my habits. I don’t feel like this is a “plan” I’m following. I couldn't have done this without MBT! I'm so grateful. Thank you!" This blurb doesn't do the in depth story Jill wrote justice! In her story, she includes all of the things she's tried and why they didn't work in detail, why she didn't want a conventional trainer or nutritionist, her issue with some health coaches, how she found out about us, and the "secret" of the shirt she's wearing in the photo. To read it, go here: https://www.mybodytutor.com/pages/success-jill/ #MBTworks #TransformationTuesday #ThisIsWhatWeLiveFor #TogetherWeWillMakeItHappen

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1. Schedule fun for yourself.

Tension relief is one of the top reasons we overeat and make poor food choices. When something causes us to feel tense, we seek to alleviate that feeling… often with overly indulgent food and drinks. As we get older, we make less time for fun, which leads to burnout. 

What defines fun for you? Consider signing up for art classes, salsa lessons, volunteering, board games, meditation, yoga, even cooking healthier spins on your favorite foods. Focusing on fun might sound trite, but there's a good reason my most successful clients create time for it: The more fun we have, the less we'll rely on food and drink to create it for us.

2. Learn that food isn’t what you’re really craving... 

...what you’re craving is avoidance. When we indulge, we’re after the experience of eating—the escape and distraction. So when you want to eat an entire pint of ice cream, what you’re really after is that sense of reward. But food won’t give you what you're truly looking for, so when you’re craving something that will hamper your goals, ask yourself: "If I could use a magic button to change something in my life right now, what would I use it for?" This will help you identify what’s really bothering you. For example, if you’re unhappy with your career, or you’re seeking a better relationship with your partner, identifying these issues will help you map out a plan of action instead of covering up a desire with temporary relief in the form of dessert.

3. Understand that 80 percent of weight loss is diet.

You know how some people can work their butts off in the gym—even with a trainer—and they don’t end up looking any different? You can't out-exercise a poor diet; what you do between exercise matters most. While exercise is the key to energy and a better mood, diet is the key to weight loss.

"I truly believed I was just a fat person and that I would be one for my entire life. The idea of having visible muscles or a flat stomach was simply incomprehensible to me." Meet Matt. 39 pounds gone with MBT. When Matt read about us on Thrillist he was intrigued ("MBT seemed unlike anything I've come across.") and immediately signed up. As a busy musician who tours and works late nights, it was crucial to come up with a plan that fit Matt's unconventional schedule. This meant working with Matt to determine his "non-negotiables". At first, he didn't want to give up all that much and that was okay. He wanted the drinking and the bar food that came along with the territory. After helping Matt discover why he wanted those foods in the first place, we came up with strategies that were sustainable and satisfying. I knew we'd get to where he wanted to be and then some, without Matt having to sacrifice his rockstar lifestyle altogether. "The beauty of MBT is that it fits right in with my crazy schedule. I didn't have to start going to bed at 9pm, or stop drinking completely, or stop eating late night food. MBT showed me ways I can make healthier choices alongside my crazy lifestyle." #TransformationThursday #APictureIsWorthAThousandWords #MBTworks

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4. Plan and prepare meals ahead of time. 

We often have to battle between our short-term, irrational mind and our long-term, rational mind. When we’re hungry, stressed, or tired, it’s harder to make good choices. Besides, when was the last time you were "in the mood" for grilled chicken and vegetables when you felt ravenous? Sure, you might not always follow through with your healthy-eating plans, but the chances you’ll do so increase dramatically when you actually have a plan in the first place. You don’t get any bonus points for using heroic willpower rather than simple planning, so why not make it easier on yourself? My most successful clients always have healthy food ready to go in the fridge—this just makes good choices easier.

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5. Choose a truly sustainable path. 

This might sound like common sense, but it’s not common practice. You can’t expect to stick with a plan that won’t work in the long run, but people keep attempting absurd fad diets. Forget about them! You can only follow a cookie, shake, grapefruit, cabbage, no-carb, and no-fun diet for so long—and my most successful clients avoid these diets. Before you start any weight-loss program, ask yourself, "Can I see myself eating like this in five years from now?" If the answer is no, then the diet you’re thinking about starting isn’t going to work. Give yourself a chance to succeed from the start.

6. Determine if you’re actually hungry before you eat. 

One of the top reasons people are overweight is because they eat when they're emotionally hungry, not physically hungry. Physical hunger comes on gradually and can be satisfied with any food. It passes what I call the "Broccoli Test."

Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. It feels urgent and is marked by specific food cravings. You can have snack after snack, and nothing hits the spot. This is because you're not hungry for food—you're hungry for something else. So when you’re about to eat, pause and ask yourself, "Am I hungry or am I eating to change the way I feel?" This will allow you to catch yourself if you're about to eat for emotional reasons, not out of true hunger.

Meet Evan. 33 pounds gone with MBT! When a client first signs up they fill out a questionnaire so we can match them with a tutor based on their needs/goals. One of the questions is, 'What have you tried in the past for fitness and/or weight loss?' He wrote, "A better question would be: what haven't you tried?" Ha. Another question is, 'What made you sign up for MBT?' He wrote: "I've finally came to a breaking point and realized I can't do everything myself and a little help is all I need to accomplish my goals. I'm so sick of putting so much effort into this and not getting the results I'd like. I chose MBT because your emails have really resonated with me and because the program seems like exactly what I need." Often the hardest part is not only admitting we need some help, but asking for it. That takes courage. We couldn't be more proud of Evan! He looks absolutely incredible! Most importantly, he'll be able to sustain the results because we helped him change his mindset along with developing new habits/behaviors around food/exercise. People wind up trying so many things because the diets they try get harder with time (not easier as they should). They're restrictive and rely solely on willpower. Ugh! Fit and happy is the goal, not fit and miserable. Eventually they can't take it anymore and give up only to try something else a few months later when they're sick of themselves again. Throughout the process Evan kept saying, "I can't believe how sustainable this feels. I feel like I can do this forever." THAT is the goal! #MBTworks #TransformationThursday #ThisIsWhatWeLiveFor #CantStopWontStop

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7. Plan your indulgences. 

I’ll never forget when a client told me that before starting one of her many failed diet attempts, she was told to sign a contract stating she’d never indulge in any of her favorite desserts again. If only it were that easy—that’s like saying "Don’t be sad" to someone who’s depressed. It’s ridiculous. Never indulging again isn’t sustainable... or even desirable. 

You should eat treats when they’re special to you. My rule is that your special indulgence should pass the "Will I remember this in two weeks?" test. Most of the indulgences we eat aren’t remarkable—they’re bags of chips or boxes of stale-tasting cookies from a convenience store. The idea is to make the most of routine meals and indulge when it’s truly worth your while. Wait for a memorable treat like a high-quality pastry from your favorite shop. 

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The real secret to sustainable weight loss is that there is no secret. It's about eating well, exercising… and doing these consistently. Understanding what gets in the way of consistency—and how to be more steady in your efforts—is the only way to stick with a plan and get the results you really want.


Adam Gilbert is the founder of MyBodyTutor.com, an online program that solves the lack of consistency faced by chronic dieters. You can follow Adam on his blogInstagram, and Twitter

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