May 7, 2010
Un-Stick Your Habits and Stick-To Your Diet
IconUn-Stick Your Habits and Stick-To Your Diet Kenneth Schwarz, PhD Julie Schwarz Sticking to a weight loss diet plan takes more than wanting to lose weight. It takes more than posting a food plan on the fridge. You need to have a plan for changing the things you do so automatically that bring your diet down every time. Sticking to it is too hard when your habits keep working against you. You can actually change those habits so they work for you. You may think changing your ways is too difficult, but it's not. What it takes is recognizing that you do certain things without thinking and it continually gets in your way. That's the trick. These are the things that cause you to fight against yourself when you diet. They keep their power over you only when you don't stop to notice them. Here is a list of habits that will sabotage your weight loss diet plan again and again, no matter how good a plan it is. You probably don't have all of these habits, but even one or two can mean the difference between staying on and going off. Which of these anti-diet habits do you stick to? I hang out with people who overeat I don't ask anyone for support when I diet I try to be perfect I put everyone else's needs first I always expect to lose the weight fast I don't speak up for myself I never look in the full length mirror I see every cheat as a failure I don't leave time to relax I engage in negative self-talk I don't reward myself for my accomplishments I don't anticipate high risk eating situations I don't acknowledge painful feelings I blame myself for everything I keep very tempting foods in the house I don't get enough sleep I take on too many tasks at one time I set unrealistic goals for myself I pick diets that don't fit my lifestyle I don't admit how I feel about my weight Take the three habits you have that you think are the stickiest and begin to take them seriously. Ask these important questions: When do they occur most? What purpose do they serve? When did they start? Are there other situations in my life besides dieting where these habits come into play? Are they really necessary to my life? Can I see myself living without them? Would life be better without them? Giving this kind of careful consideration to your habits, realizing the effect they have on you, will motivate you to change them. For example, if you have habit #1, you can try not to spend a lot of time with people who overeat, especially in the beginning of the diet when you are most vulnerable. If you have habit #2, you can try to ask for support the next time you diet because helping relationships are essential to diet success. If you have habit #3, you can stop trying to be perfect because no one is perfect. When you learn to accept your slips, you can pick yourself up after and continue on to diet success. You won't suddenly erase these habits from your repertoire of behaviors, but believe it or not the most important thing is to notice them, admit them, acknowledge them. This has a powerful effect. Take stock of all the anti-diet things you do day after day without so much as a second thought. Question these things, give them that second thought, think about them, and you will begin to un-stick them. Then you can go ahead and put your effort into turning things around. After all, you deserve habits that work for you when you diet. copy; 2007 Maria's Last Diet Dr. Kenneth Schwarz, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, and Julie North Schwarz are the founders of Maria's Last Diet, an online weight loss support website for women. At Maria's Last Diet, you'll find tools to fix the thoughts, feelings, and automatic habits that fight against you when you diet. It's never just about the food. Visit for more weight loss tips and dieting support. Permission granted for use on

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