Sunday, October 01, 2006
On a Diet, It’s the Little Decisions that Count
By Julie Schwarz and Kenneth Schwarz, PhD
The big goal is to lose weight, so you go on a diet. What will get you to achieve that big goal is not just the decision to diet. It is a set of smaller decisions that will add up and translate into success. Taken separately, they may seem inconsequential. But put them together, and they will result in high-performance dieting.
Here is a list of decisions you can make that will greatly strengthen your diet:
1. When I have too much to do, I’ll ask for help. This is a problem for many women when life gets crazy. If things get too much for you, delegate responsibility instead of turning to food.
2. I will spend more time with people who are supportive. A supportive network is a big factor in helping people who want to change.
3. I will clean out the pantry of my high-risk foods. Not tempting yourself is such an easy thing, but it makes it so much more likely that you’ll stick to your plan.
4. I will keep my diet foods on hand. This is a must. Have the right things to eat all ready for you.
5. I will remind people close to me about what I’m trying to do. Making your intention to lose weight public gives it more power, more substance and makes it harder for you to go back on your word.
6. I will spend less time with people who contribute to my overeating. Don’t hang out with friends who are stuck in their weight problems and bad eating habits -- it will hinder you.
7. I will not hang around the kitchen in between meal and snack times. So simple, yet so important. Get away from the food and you’ll up your chances of not blowing it.
8. I will reward myself for sticking to my diet. Rewarding yourself for steps you take toward your goal is imperative. Positive reinforcement will keep you going.
9. I will not give up when my weight reaches a plateau point. Plateaus are necessary and need to be accepted. Decide to ride them out.
10. When I know there is a special eating situation coming up, I’ll make a plan to deal with it. Being prepared is key in a situation that may be hard for you. Usually it doesn’t take much, just some minor planning beforehand.
11. I will not be in a rush to lose this weight. Relax, be patient. Expecting to lose it all by a certain time will throw you off course.
12. I’ll keep in mind that no one is perfect. You’ll need to accept cheating as a part of dieting. The trick is not to punish yourself, but to pick yourself up and go on.
13. I will pay close attention to how much better I feel not overeating. Take note of how you feel eating less and losing weight. The positives will keep you motivated.
14. I will not eat secretly. Keeping your eating a secret perpetuates diet failure. Eat out in the open. The more up front you can be about it, the better.
15. I will act in ways that make me feel good about myself. Your self-esteem definitely affects your diet. Do things you can feel proud of.
Decisions such as these are critical when tackling the problem of staying on a diet and losing the weight. As you can see, some of these decisions have to do directly with eating and some do not. Taking a new attitude with regard to these kinds of issues is what it’s all about. There may be other decisions you wish to add, and some of those listed here may not relate to you, but you get the idea.
There is no magic solution. There is no quick solution. Losing weight and keeping it off requires small steps, little changes in your thinking and your behavior. That is what will make your diet effort different from previous attempts where you might have failed.
So, here’s to your diet and all the little decisions that will insure your ability to do it.