Lose It: Tips for Successful Weight Loss
Weight loss is a simple mathematical concept: consume fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis. This equation can be manipulated on either end: by reducing intake and/or increase expenditures. None of this is new, special, or revolutionary. The trick is how to motivate yourself to do this, how to be consistent in your efforts, and how to deal with the inevitable challenges to your plans that occur in day-to-day life.
Dr. Judith Beck, Ph.D has a novel and effective approach to this problem. By utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles, she instructs the reader how to change their thoughts and change their behaviors leading to a healthy approach to food and exercise that is for life. In her most recent book, The Complete Beck Diet for Life, a follow-up to her How to Think Like a Thin Person, Dr. Beck expands on her tools for dieting success by suggesting options for healthy eating.
Dr. Beck’s CBT approach has been an effective tool, when employed, for dealing with the “sabotaging thoughts” than can occur while dieting: Permissive-thinking, “All-or-None” thinking and others. When combined with accountability, support, and appropriate (non-food) rewards/motivations, weight loss success can be realized.
- Plan your meals and record everything that is consumed. Use a digital food scale to weigh or measure food. Lose it is a free iPhone app (or is available through their website) to log calories consumed. Websites such as CalorieKing.com and Nutritiondata.com provide wonderful information on calories of various food including foods from restaurants when available.
- Exercise is not optional. Although some weight loss can be realized by calorie restriction, our bodies were created to move. There are multiple health benefits of exercise including reduction of depression and improvement in blood sugars. Some exercise is better than none…get moving!
- Your body is not a trashcan. Excess food is wasted whether you put in on your waist or throw it in the trash. Do not eat unplanned food & count every bite.
- Give yourself credit. By recognizing what you have done right or well, you give yourself a basis to improve from. We act on what we believe and we believe what we tell ourselves. Believe that you can be successful!
- Find your motivation. Write out your reasons for losing weight and review them often. Set incremental goals and reward yourself along the way with non-food rewards.
These are some of the tips and resources I use. How about you? What have you found to be helpful or not? I would love to hear what has worked or not worked for you. Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation.