Diets start and stop - use these tips to keep
1. Know Your Weight Loss Goals
Consider how much you need to lose before you decide
how to do it, recommends Brian C. Jacobson, MD, MPH,
assistant professor of medicine and a
gastroenterologist at Boston University Medical
Center in Massachusetts.
Very overweight or
obese. "For someone obese, I refer them to
our weight loss center," says Jacobson, who says
people with a lot of weight to lose can probably
benefit from a structured, supervised program.
If you're slightly or moderately overweight."I
advise controlling portion size," Jacobson says. "If
you control portion size, you cut calories."
To learn correct portion sizes, consult a registered
dietitian or take a look at the new food
pyramid at MyPyramid.gov.
Exercise also has to be part of your plan, Jacobson
tells the do-it-yourselfers. But that doesn't
necessarily mean joining a gym. "Buy a cheap
treadmill," he says, and when you're watching TV,
hop on and take a walk.
Before starting a new exercise regime or weight
loss plan, however, remember to talk with your
2. Understand Your Weight Loss Personality
Personality plays a role in our attitude towards
food, says Thomas R. Przybeck, PhD, assistant
professor of psychiatry at Washington University
School of Medicine, St. Louis, who has published on
the topic of diet and personality. Know your
tendencies and tailor your plan to conquer the
Impulsive. "If you have a tendency
to be impulsive, you might see a pint of Ben &
Jerry's in the freezer and go for it," Przybeck
says. Clearly you are a dieter who needs to remove
Oblivious. If you tend to not pay
attention when you eat -- maybe you're a TV snacker?
-- you need to avoid such situations if you want to
Uptight. "If you are highly
anxious, you will probably have more difficulty,"
Przybeck says. "Those who are anxious, nervous, and
depressed might eat to feel better."
Tenacious. Certain personalities
don't find it that difficult losing weight. "If you
are highly self-directed, cooperative, and have a
lot of stick-to-it-ive-ness, you are going to have
an easier time," Przybeck says.
Sociable. You tend to monitor your
food intake better than others, Przybeck found.