Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Expectations have a lot to do with success. Your expectations also have everything to do with how confident you feel about yourself and about your ability to lose weight. Your expectations must be realistic, of course, or you’ll be disappointed early on. This book isn’t designed to help you lose 10 pounds by the end of next week. This book’s intention is simple: to show you the only surefire way to lose weight and help make the path to permanent weight loss a little easier to follow.

If you have plenty of experience with dieting, you’re probably more receptive to ideas that worked for you in the past, and skeptical about advice that didn’t work or that you didn’t enjoy following. That’s okay; just remember to be open-minded concerning weight-loss ideas. This book helps you get as much pleasure as possible out of food while you’re discovering how to live a low-cal lifestyle. I hope you can find some new ideas in this book that work for you, that make low-calorie dieting as satisfying as possible, and that hold your interest long enough that you can follow through on your goal to maintain a low-cal lifestyle and feel good about the way you look and feel.

In the following sections, I ask you to look at the diets you’ve tried, and I explain how to move on to a new low-calorie lifestyle.

Evaluating your diet history
Are you a weight cycler? If you’ve gained and lost weight repeatedly throughout your life, then you probably fit the bill. If you’re a weight cycler, you’ve probably been on numerous diets. You lose weight while you’re on the diet, and then gain it back soon after you stop dieting. So you go on another diet, lose some of the weight you gained last time around, and then gain it all back again. Sometimes you even gain back more than you originally lost. Sound familiar?

This up-again, down-again weight cycling is called yo-yo dieting. Some medical experts say that yo-yo dieting is more dangerous to your health than being overweight. They say that you’re better off staying at the same weight, even if it’s higher than your ideal weight, than you are to repeatedly lose weight and gain it back again. Not all experts agree, however, because plenty of scientific evidence shows clear associations between being overweight and a number of medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. So finding a diet plan that helps you stay as close to your ideal weight as possible still makes good health sense. The clue to success is to stick with that plan for the rest of your life. That’s why choosing the right plan is essential.

Moving on
If you’ve been on more diets than you can count and never managed to maintain a healthy or comfortable weight, then the thought of dieting probably aggravates you. You’re probably frustrated because every diet you ever went on was somehow about deprivation. Don’t eat this food. Don’t eat that food. After a while you felt deprived and never satisfied about what you were eating. Are you really surprised that you became discouraged along the way and gave up? No diet will ever work if the focus is on deprivation.

Think realistically about the different diets you’ve followed in your lifetime and why they didn’t work in the long run. Make a list of what you liked and didn’t like about all the diets in your life. Reject anything you didn’t like because it’s probably not going to work any better for you the second time around. Incorporate what you liked and what you found helpful into this plan. You can probably live comfortably on fewer calories than you’re now eating, but what’s most important for long-term success is that the calories you do eat come from foods you enjoy and that you don’t feel unnecessarily deprived.

Low-calorie dieting to lose weight means eating fewer calories than you’re currently eating, but you don’t have to deprive yourself. You can cut calories and still fill yourself up with plenty of good food. A low-calorie diet that works is one that is flexible enough to allow you to eat any food you want and still stay within your calorie allowance. On this type of diet, you have the choice of eating larger quantities of low-calorie foods or smaller quantities of higher calorie foods, or a combination of both. You have choices and you can change your mind from day to day about how you want to eat to stay motivated and stick to your plan.

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