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Changes You Can Live With

You can lose weight on virtually any diet. But to send those extra pounds packing without a round-trip ticket, you must find healthful strategies that you can stay with forever.

The reason we call the food component of the Weight Loss Clinic program an "eating plan" is because it is not a diet. A diet is something you can go on and off of; an eating plan is for life.

Adopting a new lifestyle means finding the behaviors and attitudes that led to weight gain and, once you've figured out your bad habits, gradually changing them into healthier patterns.

For example, are you a member of the "clean plate club"? Do you mindlessly consume your food in record time? Do you eat in front of the television? Are you always eating or drinking something?

Start to adopt more healthful behaviors such as leaving a few bites of food on your plate at each meal, slowing down and tasting every bite, eliminating interruptions to your meals, and filling your spare time with activities other than eating.

Or your own "better behaviors" might include wearing a pedometer and walking 5,000-10,000 steps each day; switching to fat-free or light food products; giving up fried foods; starting each day with a nutritious breakfast -- the options are endless. The trick is finding changes that are easy for you to incorporate into your life. And when you do something repeatedly, it soon becomes automatic.

So set "process goals" (such as eating five servings of vegetables each day or logging 10,000 steps three days in a row) instead of "outcome goals" (such as losing 30 pounds). Process goals are key to changing behaviors, and that's what will ultimately lead to permanent weight loss. Besides, a healthier lifestyle is more important in the long run than the number of pounds you shed.

The Top of the Mountain

In the beginning of your program, everyone is noticing your weight loss, passing out compliments and cheering you on. But get to the third month or so, and the cheerleaders often all but disappear.

Healthy Recipe Finder

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