How to Stay on a Diet
Expert diet tips to keep you from being a diet dropout.
More Tips for Diet Success
Experts offer these additional weight loss tips:
- Keep track of your progress. Besides exercise, experts say, the
second most important behavior is self-monitoring. "Tracking how much you
eat and weighing in a minimum of once weekly is critical to weight loss
success," says Foster. Experts suggest giving yourself a "safe"
weight range. When your weight starts going beyond the range, scale back on
calories and/or pump up the exercise. And don't delay. "Get back on track
quickly before the lapse in behavior results in going off the diet plan,"
- Jump-start your weight loss by following a fairly strict plan for a
short time. This can give you quick results to strengthen your motivation.
After this short-term period, switch to a more sustainable plan, says
- Make small, gradual changes instead of totally revising your eating
habits. Try a new change each week, and build upon your success.
- Reward yourself (but not with food) when you achieve small goals,
such as losing 5 pounds or exercising five days a week.
- Forget about "dieting." Instead, think about strategies to
satisfy your hunger for fewer calories. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, and lean protein can help manage your appetite.
- Identify what led to your weight gain and address it.
For example, if you overeat because of stress, consider a stress
management course. Develop a strategy to address areas in which you're
vulnerable so you can set yourself up for success.
- Don't get discouraged if you regain a little weight after your
initial loss. Some studies have shown that about 80% of dieters will
have some regain, says Foster. "Nobody advocates yo-yo dieting because it
is better to change behaviors, lose weight, and keep it off, but we do know
that weight cycling does not lower metabolism or appear to cause adverse psychological
effects," Foster says.