Friday, July 3, 2015

Is there a safe way to jump-start my diet?

Hi Laurie,
In the past, once I lose 10 or so pounds, I feel much more motivated. I was wondering if there is a way to drop a lot of pounds in the first week or two of the diet, but not gain it right back when I start my actual diet.
Thanks! Carla K.

No Carla, unfortunately not! The quick, large amounts lost are mostly due to water weight. So if you stopped drinking fluids you'd lose weight fast--then end up in the hospital!

Instead of the "diet to lose weight" mindset, it would be helpful to have a different mindset... "I've decided to eat healthy for life". How does that sound?

The fact is, when people go on a diet to lose weight, they go OFF the diet once they reach their goal. Then the weight comes back on.

What if you found a healthy way to eat, lost weight slowly, and it never came back on?!
Wouldn't that be worth the slow loss for the first few weeks??

Try some of the websites or apps that help you track your calories in, calories burned, and your weekly weight (FitDay, SparkPeople, LoseIt). Sometimes looking at a graph every once in a while demonstrates how far you've come, even when you don't feel it. You might also try other techniques to demonstrate to your subconscious how much you've lost: Like filling a gallon jug with water (or picking up a gallon of milk in the store) and feeling how heavy it is. This weighs 8 pounds. If you lose 8 pounds it would be like carrying this heavy jug around all day and then putting it down all at once! Except in real life it just happens more slowly.

It might help you to keep a food diary or some other type of journal or blog. Be sure to document your successes each day. Find small, positive goals such as eating 2 vegetable servings or 2 pieces of fruit, drinking 6 glasses of water a day or going for a 2-mile walk.
In this way you can experience success that will keep you motivated, even if it isn't in the form of a number on the scale!

Good Luck, and keep me posted.

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