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Finally, Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Shed pounds with a no-diet plan

There is no mystery about losing weight. You consume fewer calories than you burn off. Doing it is the hard part.

After decades of people cycling through different diet programs, the numbers of those who are overweight continue to rise. Judging from the results, we have a real problem with method. Worse, if you lose weight, you’ll probably gain it back again. If you count yourself among those who intend to rid themselves permanently of extra fat, take a different course.

Experiment with a no-diet weight-loss plan: (1) Decide on what's a reasonable weight for you. (2) Figure out the number of calories you'd daily need to consume to keep yourself at that weight. (3) Research what constitutes a nutritionally superior diet that you look forward to consuming. For example, people in “fish” cultures have lower incidents of coronary heart disease and Type II diabetes. In some studies, Omega 3 from fish oil correlates with improved cognitive functioning. If you add fish to your diet, find ways to make those meals appealing.  (4) Translate your research into roughly the type and amount of food based on your preferences, what is healthy, and what you are willing to eat. (5) Use this information to create a lifetime plan for gradually losing weight and for perminently keeping it off.  (6)  Routinely tinker with your diet to improve it. Once you reach your goal, you will have developed new habits for staying in a reasonable weight range. You'll still have to remain vigilent. When stressed or too complacent, it's easy to slide backwards.

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Let's look at creating no-diet goals, adjusting plans, and using an Internet support group to strengthen your no-diet program. At the end of this article, you'll find hyperlinks to eight brief Science and Sensibility articles on my no-diet weight-loss plan. These free articles include tips you need to know to help make this program work for you.

Your Path Toward Weight-Loss Success

Here are examples of a standard and a compound goal-setting approach. (You'll learn more about goal-setting in the No-Diet Weight Loss article in this series.)

1. Set a realistic weight-loss goal, one that is specific, measurable, and attainable. A  standard goal  is to lose a certain number of pounds (or gain pounds if you are underweight).

2. As an alternative, set a compound goal. (A compound goal has two or more related parts.) Here is a sample compound goal: “Lose 20 pounds within the next six months, and continue reducing until I reach a healthy weight. Then, keep with the program.”  Here is another: “Continue to follow the no-diet plan, adjust it as I go, and make weekly progress reports to a buddy who helps me keep on track.”

Standard goals are like idle locomotives. They look sleek, show promise, but go nowhere. Compound goals outline objectives that show a process that is part of your no-diet plan map.  It's up to you to fuel your engine with determination, start it, and stay on track.

Although the concept of the goal, map, engine, and track is simple, the trip is rarely easy. There is a price for gaining excess weight. Expect to work hard and you are less likely to experience disappointment from faulty expectations, such as “Shedding weight should come easy”, or “Once I’ve lost weight, I should look thin forever.” These types of thought are often preludes to procrastination on progress.

1. Plan to make adjustments as your exercise routines change, if you put on extra muscle weight, and as you age.

2. Expect occasional backsliding. Plan to recover from these lapses, and you’ll ordinarily get back on track sooner rather than later.

3. Your scale tells you when it is necessary to make adjustments to retain your hard fought weight-loss benefits. Weigh in weekly. Chart your progress. Act quickly when your weight is going in the wrong direction.

You can earn additional benefits from your hard work.  By persistently executing your no-diet plan, you can simultaneously build competence, confidence, resilience, and tolerance (acceptance). These are the four pillars of emotional strength.

An Internet Social Support Option

No one is perfect. If you backslide, as most are likely to do, start again. The plan is to develop discipline as you go by making adjustments that support a disciplined approach.

You can access extra help and support for your plan. An ongoing support group that operates with generous intention is associated with productive outcomes. For example, social supporters can do considerable good in the way of encouragement, offering tested ideas, providing insights, and in refusing to accept the usual excuses people give for sliding back, such as “I lack self-control.” 

Face-to-face group exchanges, and communicating through writing, have different advantages. With verbal exchanges, you get quick responses and can make adjustments. Written comments provide opportunities to have an ongoing record you can refer to anytime for reflection, review, and refinements. We’ll use the written method here. However, if you can do it both ways, try it.

To take advantage of this informal forum, describe what is happening in the Comment section following this blog.  Ask how, what, when, where, and why questions. Perhaps I, or someone else, will have ideas you can use to support your plan, improve your no-diet perspective, and refuel your momentum.

Here's how to participate in this Comment forum to help others:

1. Give specific responses. (Generalities are like clouds in the sky.)

2. If you have a suggestion, (that doesn’t advertise you or a commercial product), please let us know. You never know whose life you’ll touch.

3. Realistically encourage others, such as pointing to current achievements (if you know them) or opportunities for progress.

4. By helping others, you are likely to help yourself as you pursue your no-diet plan.

5. On a weekly basis, share your weight-loss joys and struggles with your Internet Comments group.

Ready. Set. Go.

The following eight brief articles tell you how to go about: (1) planning and executing your no-diet plan; (2) maintaining momentum when the going gets tough; (3) using special tips for addressing different common eating problems.  Persistently use the information that’s relevant to your situation.  Add tested methods as you go.

Start now and avoid the procrastination trap.  Control Click on the article title:

1.No-Diet Weight-loss Program: This blog describes how to make no-diet calory calculations. Thereafter, you don't have to waste time with yo-yo diet plans. Lose weight sanely. Keep it off.

2. Dallying with Dieting:  Self-regulation expert Dr. John Hudesman Ph.D. and I describe self-control techniques to support your no-diet plan.   

3. Stop Fooling Yourself about Weight Loss: Stop finagling yourself into thinking that losing weight later will be easier. It won't! Start your no diet plan now.

4. Kick Exercise Procrastination and Get Fit: Protect yourself against exercise procrastination and find your true trim self.

5. No Diet Tip 1: Use a diet diary for self-awareness and use this information to improve your eating habits.

6. No-Diet Tip 2: Six steps to success. Expert techniques to sustain your lifetime no-diet weight-loss plan.

7. No-Diet Tip 3: Learn to control your eating patterns at restaurants, at parties, over the holidays, and during stressful times.

8. No-Diet Tip 4: Health expert Dr. Sue Tapper's enlightened eating advice. 

© Dr. Bill Knaus

Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed.D., is the author of more than 20 books; one, "Overcoming Procrastination", was co-authored with Albert Ellis.

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