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Mind Games

Give that food-crazed body a one-two punch with your mind. It works!

From the WebMD Archives

No doubt about it, sticking to a weight loss program day after day can be tough. Weight loss is really a mind game. When you think about it you can always feed the hunger center of your brain the correct, healthy foods, and it will feel "full." It's the emotional side of you that your brain must overcome. And that's not easy.

According to the trend-spotting firm, Datamonitor, consumers flit between periods of indulgent and healthy behavior throughout the course of a week and even the same day. It's perfectly normal to veer off the path of your weight loss diet. The key is whether you get right back on and don't get sidetracked too often.

Motivated for Change

Are you motivated for change? You've shown you are by signing up for our WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Program! We can provide you with the tools and the support you need to be successful for life.

As you implement your prescribed weight loss plan, you have a chance to begin to make better, healthier choices in your food selections. Take it slowly and consider following the lead set by the "successful losers." The National Weight Control Registry tracks individuals who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for five years. These folks have the following lifestyles in common:

  • A high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
  • Careful self-monitoring (weekly weigh-ins and daily journaling).
  • They start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • They incorporate regular physical activity.

Our program encourages all of the above. We can turn your motivation into weight loss reality.

Mind Games

Another great way to keep your motivation high is to enlist a buddy who has similar goals. When you buddy-up, you both strengthen your commitments because you don't want to let the other person down. It works remarkably well and according to Steven Blair's Active Living Every Day (Cooper Institute in Dallas), finding a friend is key to keeping up regular physical activity.

Buddies support, they don't sabotage our efforts. Well-meaning family and friends can undermine your successful efforts with their persistence. It can be tough to resist when they try to encourage you to eat that piece of chocolate cake. Stay strong -- excuse yourself from the setting and go call your buddy for moral support.

Can't find a buddy? Check out our community boards to find someone to talk to. We're a lot of fun, and here nearly round the clock. We'll watch your back.


Attitude is Everything

Adopting a can-do attitude is a terrific way to stay motivated and think positively. A positive, can-do attitude is much more likely to motivate than guilt. Yes, you can -- just do it and stop making excuses. New habits only take seven to 14 days to adopt. Think of it! Only a week or two to make a life altering change stick!

Our approach here at the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic is slow and steady, making small changes in your lifestyle that you can live with. Give it a go, we're on your side and will do our part to help you over the hurdles and keep you motivated. Our community boards and homepage are chock full of inspiration, friendly advice, and lots of good tips.

A Dose of Reality

Set realistic attainable goals. Be sensible, don't try to lose it all in a month, you didn't gain it all that quickly. The simple act of setting goals can be motivating. Write down your goals, check on them often, and keep daily reminders to stay focused on eating more healthfully and getting regular physical activity. Losing as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can improve your health and make you feel better.

Reward Yourself

Each of those pounds lost, each minute spent walking instead of sitting, those are all life-altering changes. Reward yourself for each and every one. Those are not baby steps -- those are giant steps on the way to a brand new you.

Love That Zip in Your Step

Be light-hearted; find joy and laughter in the process. Losing weight does not need to be a prison sentence. Focus on all the new foods that you can add into your diet and how good it makes you feel to eat healthfully. Isn't it great to climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath? Don't you love the feeling when you finish an invigorating walk? Aren't you sleeping better? Turn your attention toward all the positive benefits of losing weight and feeling healthier.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column
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