The following, relatively brief, thoughts on where we should focus our efforts, with respect to weight management, stems from a recent talk I had with my friend and colleague Matt (ya, the other guy on the blog). We were discussing the new project at Examine.com, their Research Digest (http://store.examine.com/store/erd/). We both agreed that this is likely to be a great addition to the small circle of science-based information. However, Matt had a great point: Do we need more information about WHAT to do, i.e, what should we eat?, how much? and what to do for exercise? This is something Matt and I have discussed many times and agree that at this point there is ample evidence regarding WHAT (create a calorie deficit, eat a good amount of protein, eat lots of veggies, exercise 5 days a week for 30-60 minutes, etc.) needs to be done regarding eating and exercise for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. However, what is lacking, at least in the common or popular weight management circles is the HOW to do it (what) consistently. How do we decrease the intention – behavior gap? The good news, there is a lot of quality information regarding the HOW issue. There are many books, blogs and peer-reviewed papers that focus on this problem and from what I have seen have come to some well supported recommendations.* Although not complete or always conclusive, this information can help us modify and deal with the mental and social variables that have a significant impact on our eating and exercise behaviors. When looking at the research on short-term and especially long-term adherence and overall behavior change, it is this aspect of HOW that is truly the Holy Grail for making any real changes in the weight of many people.
*I will not be going into the research here or even listing any research at this time. I just wanted to quickly share a point of view. But, upcoming posts and book chapters will elucidate the research and properly site the citations.