If you were paid millions of dollars, you would lose weight too!

Jared Fogle has been a spokesperson for Subway restaurants for 15 years now. He has had a huge impact on Subway sales, largely because of his remarkable weight loss which was due, in part, to eating Subway sandwiches. (Of course, there is nothing magical about his “Subway diet.” The weight loss was due to the fact that he was eating far fewer calories!)

What is more remarkable than his initial weight loss is the fact that Jared kept the weight off for 15 years. He has had some serious motivation to do so. First, he has literally been paid millions of dollars to keep the weight off. Second, because his story is so widely known and because he is so recognizable, Jared is accountable to all of us. His weight regain would be noticed by many people, include some who have made him a role model.

Most of us won’t get paid to lose weight (or exercise or quit smoking), but we can find something to motivate us. And by telling people about our goals—or better yet, getting them involved with us—we are accountable to others. In this way we can benefit from the very same factors that have contributed to Jared’s success.

You can read more about motivation and accountability and making health behavior changes in my Health & Fitness column in the Aiken Standard this week.

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