These have worked for lots of my patients. Take what works for you and discard the rest.
- Plan on grocery shopping, meal preparation, and taking meals to your workplace.
- Keeping a record of your food consumption is often the key to success.
- Accountability is another key. Do you have a friend or spouse who wants to lose weight? Start the same program at the same time and support each other. That’s one of many ways to have accountability.
- If you tend to over-eat or snack too much, floss and brush your teeth after you’re full. You’ll be less likely to go back for more anytime soon.
- Eat at least two or three meals daily. Eat breakfast every day. Ignore the diet gurus who say you must eat every two or three hours.
- Eat slowly and allow yourself time to enjoy your food. You’ll be a better judge of when your’re full.
- Don’t eat while watching TV.
- Give yourself a specific reward for every 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight lost. Consider a weekend get-way, jewelry, new clothes, an evening at the theater, a professional massage, etc. Choose the reward in advance, to give you something to work toward.
- Don’t start a diet during a time of stress.
- Maintain a consistent eating pattern throughout the week and year.
- If you know you’ve eating enough at a meal to satisfy your nutritional requirements yet you still feel hungry, drink a large glass of water and wait a while. Or try a sugar-free psyllium fiber supplement: three grams of fiber in 8 oz (240 ml) of water.
- Weigh yourself frequently: daily during your active weight-loss phase and during the first two months of your maintenance-of-weight-loss phase. Weekly thereafter.
- Be aware that you’ll probably regain five or 10 pounds (2.3 or 4.5 kg) of fat now and then. That’s normal. Just get back on your original weight-loss plan for a month or two.
- Tell your housemates you’re on a diet and ask for their support. You may also need to tell your co-workers and others with whom you spend significant time. If they care about you, they’ll be careful not to tempt you off the diet.
Steve Parker, M.D.