Successful weight loss is not simply a matter of exerting mind over matter. It requires knowing who you are, what you want, and having specific goals and strategies about how you are going to get there.
The following steps will help you translate what you want into the will to make it happen:
• Evaluate your current eating habits as they relate to dietary restraint and dietary inhibition. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• Choose a weight-loss method with a food component that supports the concept of flexible restraint. Extreme diets or diets that lend themselves to on-again, off-again eating can lead to dietary dis-inhibition and uncontrolled eating.
• Define what you want for yourself in terms of weight management. Evaluate the methods you are considering in relation to their ability to give you what you really want.
• Create a set of short- and longer-term goals. Determine what will motivate you to get from one goal to the next. Develop and implement strategies that will feed the motivators and help make them a reality.
• For each of the basic components of a comprehensive weight-loss method, think of at least four strategies you can implement today. Now implement them for a few days and see if they work for you. If they do, keep them. If they don’t work for you, develop and test new strategies.
• Identify five of your temptation foods. Develop specific strategies for dealing with them in a way that will reinforce learning the skill of flexible restraint.
Nobody is going to tell you that exercise is not a good thing. It offers many health benefits— better sleep, reduced stress, improved strength and muscle tone, and it puts you in a better mood.
It also burns calories. So it makes sense that increasing physical activity be part of the weight-loss formula. But exercise as a weight-loss method has limitations. This chapter explores the effectiveness of exercise and its
role in weight loss and maintenance.
You can lose weight with exercise alone
Most diets fail because they focus on the wrong thing. Successful weight loss is not really about food; it is about exercise. The main focus of a weight-loss effort should be exercise because it will make the pounds come off faster and the loss will be maintained.
With all the technological changes in our daily lives, most of us are not getting enough exercise. People, especially guys, start gaining weight in their late 20s, then continue to gain weight into their 30s and
40s as work and family take up more of their time. With less time to exercise and be active, of course they gain weight.
So it makes sense that getting back into exercise will melt away the pounds. The commitment to exercise is not very demanding. Getting to the gym just a few times a week will make a huge difference in weight loss.
And the more time spent at the gym, the faster the pounds will come off. It should take only a couple of hours a week for the next two or three months to lose the weight that has accumulated over the past ten
or so years.
Going to the gym tones the body, flattens the stomach, and firms the thighs. It changes the shape of the body. Losing weight through dieting can’t do that. So even if the pounds on the scale stay the same, that is okay; it just means that the fat is turning into muscle.