For decades, weight loss has been on the top of many Americans' minds, especially with things like diet culture, popular fad diets, and social media putting pressure on people to look a certain way. But a recent survey has revealed that Americans may now have a different motivating factor for wanting to shed pounds.
Earlier this year The Mayo Clinic surveyed over 200,000 Americans to learn more about why people want to lose weight. Out of the people surveyed, 83% stated that physical appearance is no longer their #1 motivator. In fact, their main motivation in 2022 is improving their health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these results show that the amount of people wanting to lose weight for their health is 5 times greater than the people doing so for their physical appearance. And the main components of the survey included looking into how someone viewed themselves, where an individual was in their actual weight loss journey, and also how highly motivated they were.
On The Today Show, Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic associate professor, says "we think there may be a new movement on focusing on improving health." TODAY reports that it's this type of intrinsic motivation that seems to keep people going more so than other types of motivators.
And according to researchers in the survey, the lock down may be one of the key factors in this major mindset shift. "Authors of the study say this follows a global trend of people focusing more on health and wellness following the pandemic," reports TODAY.
To comment more on the survey and its implications, TODAY sat down with Dr. Natalie Azar, NBC News Medical Contributor. According to Azar, a dieting mindset has been notoriously unsuccessful for many Americans. "55% of Americans have tried six or more diets in their lifetime, and we know historically that people have a really difficult time sticking with diets."
This survey isn't the first instance in which research has shown the success of intrinsically motivated weight loss. A review published in Obesity Reviews concluded that internal motivation and focusing on personal health goals helped patients lose weight and keep it off at a more successful rate.
Harvard Health Publishing also found that things like self-motivation and having feelings of pride for yourself and your accomplishments helped significantly in the process of weight loss and weight management.
To get more ideas on healthy eating and losing weight in a safe, sustainable way, check out 5 Best High-Fiber Breakfasts.