Whether you're looking to lose a few pounds - or have 30, 40 or more pounds
to shed - a few creative weight loss tips can make it
easier. To help you stick with your diet and meet your weight
loss goals, WebMD asked several nutrition and fitness experts to share their
secrets of success. The 7 diet tips that follow can help you get on the fast
track to safe weight loss, no matter what
kind of diet you're on.
Weight Loss Tip #1: Count on more than willpower alone.
By Jessie Knadler
You didn't see it coming. You didn't even feel it land — until a split second
later when you suddenly realize you've had the wind knocked out of you. What
just hit you? Someone's nasty comment, and it's cut you to the core.
Sometimes a faultfinder disguises her disapproval as a quasi-compliment:
"I would have never had the courage to talk to my boss the way you
did." Other times, a jab takes the form of a cautionary tale: "You're
going on a cruise? I still get nightmares...
It's easy to blame diet failures on a lack of willpower, says Lisa Sanders,
MD, a Yale University primary care clinician-educator. But willpower isn't
meant to be the only tool you use. It's more like a safety net for when life
spins out of control.
Basing your weight loss efforts only on willpower can actually work against
your diet goals, says Martha Beck, PhD, life coach and author of The Four
Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace. For instance,
research shows that trying not to think about something - like that frosted
chocolate brownie - can actually make you focus more intensely on it. When
you're rested, relaxed, and enjoying life, Beck says, you can suppress unwanted
thoughts and feelings fairly easily. But when you're stressed, annoyed, or
pressed for time, resisting temptations is much harder. So rather than relying
on willpower to get you through, set a goal to develop a conscious awareness of
what you eat without obsessing about it.
Weight Loss Tip #2: Set yourself up for success.
Here are two ways you can set yourself up to succeed. First, says Andrea N.
Giancoli, MPH, RD, eliminate any food that doesn't support your weight loss
goals. Giancoli is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
She says it'll be much easier to resist temptation if unhealthy choices aren't
around. Purge your pantry of any foods that list "partially hydrogenated
oils" as an ingredient. Toss out sodas or other drinks made with sugar or
high-fructose corn syrup. And, especially if you prefer bottled water to tap,
keep a supply on hand. It's easier to grab on the go.
Then give your diet some help by making it easy to exercise. Gregory Florez
is founder and CEO of FitAdvisor.com, a top-rated fitness training service. He
says two things you can do to avoid becoming a couch potato is to clear off the
clutter hanging on your treadmill and then pull other fitness gear out into the
open where you can see it.
Weight Loss Tip #3: Set up a support network.
Studies show that social support is crucial - especially for women, says
health psychologist Bess Marcus, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human
behavior at Brown University Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island. You
can help yourself by finding at least one person who believes in you and your
ability to succeed at your weight loss goals. "Line up a friend to walk
with you, watch your kids so you can work out, or even just call to check in on
how you're doing," says Marcus.