Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Which Weight Loss Plan Is Right For You?

Since we are all individuals, we all need individually tailored diets. What works to help one person lose weight doesn't necessarily work for the next person. You have to examine the weight loss plans that are available and figure out which parts suit your lifestyle. This became most obvious to me when, during the past week, I had five different clients each verbalize, "The part that worked for me was...." and they each said something remarkably different! I find it so interesting to hear what, of all the tips I toss out each week, sticks for each of these women. Some find meaning in one off handed statement I made, while proven research is totally ignored. Yet they all have found success in something meaningful to each of them. Here are their stories:

I met Emily for coffee last week and she has lost 27 pounds over the past 7 months. Just perfect for her, since she consistently reassures me she is not dieting. "I still remember the first time we met to talk about my weight loss plan," she relates. "I couldn't believe that you were telling me it's just a matter of eating a few hundred calories less each day and exercising to burn off 100 more calories a day! The main thing is I just eat less butter now, and take a 20 minute walk every afternoon, and I still keep losing nearly a pound a week." For Emily, she just needed to become aware of what she was eating and find some lower calorie alternatives. "My favorite evening snack now is a handful of mini-chocolate chips melted over some strawberries. I just never get tired of eating that and it gets in one of my fruit servings!" For Emily, eating just a little bit less and walking just a little bit more has made more than a little bit of change in her weight!

Margaret is in my weekend "healthy eating" class and I've noticed quite a change in her confidence over the past 2 weeks. "What changed for you?" I asked. "For me," Mary answered, "it was deciding that I was going to do this for myself, focus on myself, and finally know that now is the time to take care of myself! I don't worry about what my husband chooses to eat or when he chooses to exercise. I cook healthy dinners in healthy portions and take the leftovers for lunch the next day. If there is a bite or two left over I actually throw it away instead of feeling obligated to eat it! I do what I know is best for me, and I'm already feeling my jeans get looser!" For Margaret, she decided to put all the worries aside about 'what will happen to other people if I do what I need to do' and decided she was worth the effort. It's paying off for her and she's feeling, possibly for the first time in her life, that she is really doing what's best for her.

Laura has made amazing changes in just one week. "I think before I eat. I don't always remember to assess my hunger level, but I always remember to ask, 'is this a good choice?'" She's practically cut her portions in half! At dinner time she uses smaller plates; when eating at restaurants she asks for a doggie bag even before she starts to eat; and when going out to lunch she gets the half sandwich option instead of the whole one. She asks herself before grabbing a snack at work, "do I really want this badly enough to sabotage my efforts to lose weight?" Weight loss is very important to her, and one affirmation that keeps her going is repeating, "I am making healthy choices". Instead of subconsciously repeating "I can't lose weight" she now believes she is a person who makes healthy choices; she tells herself that several times a day and it's working.

Lisa is thrilled with her weight loss progress. Losing up to two pounds a week during the first month, she has learned that there are no forbidden foods. "It makes losing weight so easy just knowing I can keep eating like this for the rest of my life. I love knowing I don't have to give up pizza or ice cream--I just can't eat huge portions and I can't have it every day". Lisa has started eating just about half as much of these foods as she used to. "Something about believing these foods are bad for me made me just want them so much more. Now I find my cravings for them have virtually disappeared, and just a taste is enough to satisfy me".

Each of these women found something that resonated with them. What might work for you? The good news is you can try them all out, for free :) Try keeping a food log one week, eating smaller portions the next, walking an extra 20 minutes a day, and finding an affirmation to remind yourself you can do it! You don't have to choose just one and you don't have to stick with one. How about a 'rotating' diet where you apply one principle one week and try another the next to keep from getting bored or discouraged.
Please! Post your comments here and let us know what works for you. Good luck with whatever you decide to try.

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