CQUniversity Lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science Dr Robert Stanton
CQUniversity Lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science Dr Robert Stanton CQUniversity

Negative comments detrimental to weight loss success rate

ONE of the keys to successfully losing weight, getting fit, or any other mentally challenge lifestyle change is being surrounded by supportive people.  

>> WATCH: Gladstone's 'Queen of weight loss' shares secrets

Rob Stanton has dedicated the past 25 years to helping people get fit and healthy, from working in a gym to his current role as a lecturer in Exercise and Sports Sciences at CQUniversity.  

He said people who embark on the physical and mental challenge of losing weight and getting fit need to avoid negative self-talk and avoid engaging in negative talk.  

His message comes after a large Toowoomba woman was the victim of negative comments from motorists as she was running between jobs.  

The motorists yelled 'run fatty, run'.  

"It (this kind of negative talk) causes people to question their willingness or their capacity to undertake their challenge, whether it be physical or mental," Dr Stanton said.  

"It has the potential to be highly detrimental.   

"For those that are overweight, it takes a lot of courage to just step into a gym."


He said there was still a stigma that gyms are only for super fit or bodybuilder types.   "You often hear 'I just wanted to lose a little bit of weight before going to the gym'."  

Dr Stanton's background
Rob has more than 20 years' experience in the health and fitness, rehabilitation, and clinical exercise science areas, and has worked as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for more than 10 years. Rob now works as an academic at CQUniversity, Rockhampton, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at University of Canberra.  


Dr Stanton said most people who are unfit, overweight or obese often suffer low self-confidence which is why it takes a lot of courage to take the first step.



"These people should be congratulated for doing what they are doing."


He said many people opt to work with personal trainers one-on-one to avoid possible judgemental people.  

Dr Stanton said most people know what the right foods to eat are and that they need to do exercise regularly to maintain their health and weight levels, but they don't do it.  

"It is (also) about people recognising a particular behaviour and whether they have the capacity to change and whether or not it is a priority."  

He said even if someone is confident that they can stick to the right diet and exercise regime, if they don't enjoy it, they won't be successful.  

"(This is) because the reward won't be perceived as being that great."  

"The affective response (the emotional response to a situation) to a single bout of exercise can predict long-term exercise adherence."  

In other words, if you push too hard and don't enjoy it, you are less likely to do it again. But, you can still be successful pushing yourself hard, as long as you do enjoy it.  

And it has nothing to do with the level of muscle soreness after the workout.  

Dr Stanton explained that people who don't enjoy their workouts develop a bad view of exercise and this leads to lower success rates.  

Dr Stanton outlined another factor in equation of successful weight - the fact that dieting is about changing multiple behaviours.

He said most people who attempt smoking cessation have six or seven attempts before being successful, which is one behaviour to change.  

This is why it is harder for people trying to change their diet - they need to change what they eat, how much they eat, when they eat and how often they eat.  

Dr Stanton said some people lapse while dieting because of family and friends who reward them for their efforts via a nice dinner or chocolate.  


Dr Rob Stanton's top three tips

  • For people commencing an exercise regime for the first time
  • Consult your GP, particularly if you have a family history of health problems, to check for problems that may come up while exercising
  • Surround yourself entirely with supportive people
  • Consult a qualified and experienced professional such as an accredited exercise physiologist (for obese people) or someone who has a Certificate IV in Fitness or preferably, an accredited exercise scientist (for healthy individuals)

Note: you can get a referral to an exercise physiologist from your GP with up to five visits a year subsidised by Medicare  

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