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"I love this new eating plan because I can have so many tasty meals if I just make a few substitutions."
Ah, so human desire to avoid pain is alive and well. Analyze your thoughts:
1. Face fact squarely that dieting is not going to be a festive cruise through delicious and taste-tempting fodder. Yes, there are ways to make cottage cheese less chalky and spike vegetables with extra flavor. Later, when you reach your goal, you can start to indulge your epicurean creativity. For initial, drastic steps, you are going to have to seek fun and satisfaction in other pursuits while acknowledging that, for now, food isn't very exciting. Grin and bear it: less tempting your plate, easier it is not to overeat. Remember that you are trying to fight temptation not encourage it. 2. Be honest with yourself and don't try to circumvent your plans by relying on claims you know are false. If you are pursuing low carb eating, candy bars which claim to be "low carb" are not something you want to devour with abandon. Whole grain bread is nutritious but consuming everything in form of a sandwich will never result in reaching your goal. If your diet advises "Any amount from Column C," use your intelligence to see that it doesn't mean stuffing yourself completely, and often, even if your intake is limited to vegetables, protein, or whatever your plan allows. 3. While skipping meals can often cause problems, cutting out courses is usually totally beneficial. Who decreed that a meal should conclude with dessert? The goal is to curb that sweet tooth, not assuage it. Why mess with "low calorie" treats such as jello or fruit compote when you can skip dessert entirely and opt for a cup of freshly brewed coffee or green tea?
"This time, it's different. I really want to lose weight and look good in my clothes."
Have you ever heard yourself say that before? Consider a little personal introspection:
1. Why is this time different? When you tried to lose weight in past, weren't you as equally determined? What about your life is different this time? Is diet new and may work better than those you have tried in past? Have you become increasingly worried about what overweight may mean to your health and longevity? Are you newly single and feel that appearance is suddenly more important than enjoying fine dining? 2. Has your attitude about food changed? If you continue to think about food, watch television cooking shows (just looking for low calorie recipes, of course), and plan meals with anticipation, you are doomed. As long as you remain tied to American national infatuation with food, you will never really take control of your weight 3. Examine and modify your attitudes about food. Push eating into a non-dominant section of your overall lifestyle and maximize your pleasure in non-food pursuits. That is secret to regaining control of your weight, your health, and your ability to live a live without compulsions that have kept you a prisoner inside bloated body you detest.
Complete analysis of how you are going to set your goals and how you will handle requirements of "real life" is what can set your present effort apart from prior attempts, and prior failures. Successful long term weight control is more than what you eat, it is what you are.
Virginia Bola is a licensed psychologist and an admitted diet fanatic. She specializes in therapeutic reframing and the effects of attitudes and motivation on individual goals. The author of The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a free ezine, The Worker's Edge, she is currently working on a psychologically-based weight control book: Diet with an Attitude. She can be reached at http://dietwithanattitude.blogspot.com