There's a smart way to go about losing weight, and a dumb way. The dumb way is to simply jump into another diet without getting your act together first. The smart way is to get yourself primed.
Be smart. Go on any diet you like, but plan to start it three weeks from today. Then you can train for diet success.
Here is a 21-day plan to prepare you for the diet journey. If you've failed on diets before, it's probably because you didn't do the prep work—so do it now. Be a dieter-in-training. Follow this simple 21-day road map and let it ease your way to successful weight loss.
Ask yourself: why do I want to lose weight?
Ask yourself: have I been reluctant to lose weight? If so, why?
Note down every time during this 3rd prep day that you eat too much. Give details—time, place, situation, other people present, your mood, your feelings.
Look at your reflection in a full-length mirror, describe how you feel about what you see.
Highlight for yourself every negative effect being overweight has on your life.
Think of any bad things that might happen if you stick to your diet and lose weight.
Contact a woman you know who has lost weight and kept it off and ask her how she did it. Or read over some weight loss success stories and see if there are common threads.
On this day, take one instance of overeating (or eating when you're not hungry); note how you feel about yourself after.
Write a back and forth dialogue with yourself about the good parts and the bad parts of your relationship with food.
Carefully consider who you can turn to for support when you start your diet.
Figure out actual ways your supportive person can help you, and ask if she/he would be willing to do that on a consistent basis.
Think about what would be an acceptable weight-loss food plan according to your particular likes and dislikes, your lifestyle, schedule, principles, etc.
Make a list of what you think are the most high-risk eating moments for you during a usual day, week, year.
Devise a detailed plan for how you will get through the most high-risk eating moments you have to face without turning to food.
Finish these thoughts: Some things that could interfere with my plans to lose weight are __________________. I can handle these things by _______________.
Figure out several ways you will be able to check if your weight-loss plans are working well.
Think about how you will handle it when you have a "cheat".
Take the food plan you chose on Day 12 and try it out today, all day.
Use the same food plan on this day as well, and assess how you think it works for you.
Decide if this is a food plan you want to stay with, at least for a while. If not, choose a better one and try it out today.
This is your last prep day. Look back over what you did, what you thought about, what you tried out, what you discovered during the last 3 weeks. Write a page about your weight-loss goal, the strength of your commitment to the goal, your plans for holding on to willpower, and how you will help yourself continue after any "cheat" you may have.
You are now far more equipped and ready than you would have been had you jumped right into a diet with no training at all. You're primed. You've thought, you've reflected, you've considered, you've planned—all of what it takes to sustain yourself through the weight-loss process.Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D.
© Maria's Last Diet
Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D. is a psychologist specializing in personal change and goal achievement. Julie North Schwarz is a writer in the field of women’s weight-loss issues. They are authors of the online weight-loss solution, “Diet Tuffy: The Fun Way to Seriously Make Your Diet Work”. For Diet Tuffy and more about how to conquer the psychological side of dieting, go to their website, www.mariaslastdiet.com.
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