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Publication: Diet Buddy
The Flexible Approach

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, September 18, 2006

Hi there Diet Buddies:

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  We had a doozy of a 
rain storm that had some streets flooded and also left 
people with flooded homes.  Mother Nature strikes again !!!
Hopefully you're having better weather in your part of the 
country and are still enjoying the outdoors.  We've 
definitely had more than enough of the rain now, and some 
sunshine would be greatly appreciated for a few more months.  
I'm putting in my request as we speak!

Starting and sticking with a weight loss plan can be a 
challenge to say the least, especially if you're feeling
discouraged about not losing weight previously.  Constantly 
having to remind yourself about the health benefits you'll
gain, that you'll feel and look better can get a bit 
repetitious and boring at times.

Trying to follow a strict diet plan on a daily basis can be 
overwhelming and often times lead to complete burn out, 
leaving you feeling like a total failure and causing you to 
go back to your old comforting, but negative ways.  

New research seems to show that a flexible approach, rather 
than a rigid regimen, is the most effective way to lose the 
weight and keep it off for good.  So today let's take a look
at 10 real-world suggestions from the experts at "Weight
Watchers" that will keep your diet on a weight-losing track.


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1. Concentrate on getting started; don't worry about every 
   detail of a weight-loss program.  Remain focused on the 
   steps immediately before you.  Don't be overwhelmed by 
   the weight loss you feel you must ultimately lose.  
   Remember, just getting started is an important 

2. Make your first major goal to lose 10 percent of your 
   current body weight. Not only has a 10-percent weight 
   loss been proven to be medically significant, it's also 
   an achievable goal. Sustaining a 10-percent weight loss 
   has multiple benefits, including lowering blood pressure 
   and cholesterol.

3. Don't go to Extremes.  Cutting out food groups and crash 
   dieting inevitably leads to feeling deprived, which in 
   turn leads to overeating and then the weight snaps back.  
   In other words, "deprivation is fattening".  The key to 
   long-term weight control is to learn to eat in moderation.

4. Be flexible.  If you find yourself overeating at a 
   special occasion, just eat less at the next meal or ramp 
   up your exercise a tad.  Learning to be flexible by 
   adjusting your eating and exercise up or down is an 
   important strategy for losing and maintaining weight.

5. Learn to count your successes.  Celebrate every pound 
   you've lost as you move toward your weight goal.  Don't 
   fret about the weight that you haven't shed.  Keeping a 
   positive, balanced perspective is key.

6. Don't be discouraged if you plateau.  Weight loss is 
   never a consistent process.  In the first three weeks 
   you may lose more weight due to water loss.  Expect your 
   weight loss to vary from week to week.

7. Give yourself breathing room - take simple, small steps 
   to improve your lifestyle.  If you know you need to be 
   eased into a routine, then change your habits gradually.  
   For example, walk an extra five minutes a day, and 
   increase the pace gradually.

8. Accept that you will make mistakes along the way.  What 
   you do about any mistake is what's important.  Pick 
   yourself up, dust yourself off and continue with your 
   healthy eating habits.  If you succumb to that pile of 
   french fries or that dish of chocolate mousse, don't 
   despair and give up.  Knowing you can get back on track 
   is an empowering skill to learn.

9. Dieting does not have to equal deprivation, which means 
   you don't have to give up your favorite foods!  Many of 
   the foods you love and that you may have thought of as 
   surefire diet busters can be eaten in good consience and 
   good health.  Remember, a flexible approach to losing 
   weight allows you the freedom to incorporate all foods 
   and food groups into your food plan.

10.Recognize that new habits take practice.  Practice them 
   until they become your own.  Give yourself time for 
   lifestyle changes to feel natural and automatic.

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"Do's and Don'ts" - by Chief Scientist at Weight Watchers
International Karen Miller-Kovack, M.S.,R.D.


>  Monitor your progress.  Weighing yourself once a week,
   logging your food and activity, and monthly sessions with 
   tape measure, record your progress to keep you motivated.

>  Choose to eat healthy, wholesome foods from all the food 
   groups.  That's the only way you're assured of getting 
   the essential nutrients you need.

>  Exercise.  While a recommended goal for weight loss is 
   about an hour a day of moderate activity, anything more 
   than what you're doing now is a plus.

>  Eat breakfast everyday.

>  Drink at least six cups of water every day.


>  Forget that calories count!  With all the hype about 
   weight loss, eating fewer calories and exercising more 
   calories away is the bottom line in losing weight.

>  Follow a diet.  Learning and sticking to healthy habits 
   is what ultimately gets you to and keeps you at a healthy 

>  Risk your health to drop a few pounds.  Losing weight 
   improves your health - but not if you do it with a crash 
   diet or one that promotes depriving yourself of essential 

>  Go it alone.  Getting support from others - family, 
   friends, or a weight-loss group - makes the weight loss 
   journey less lonely.

>  Get distracted.  Losing weight takes time and it's easy 
   to let life derail your efforts.  Take the time to 
   recommit yourself to losing weight on a regular basis so 
   that it stays on your "A" list of priorities.

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It can be awfully frustrating to stick with any weight loss
plan, to the point of throwing it all to the wind.  If you 
find yourself in that type of mood, which I myself have done 
in the past, then I hope that these excellent tips will help 
improve your current weight loss strategy, or get you 
motivated to start again.

Did You Know ???

That "Weight Watchers is one of the longest-running and most 
well-known weight loss programs around.  The longevity of 
Weight Watchers is testimony to it's continual success as a 
balanced weight loss program.  Even a simple search of the 
Internet will return hundreds of positive testimonies and 
reviews of the Weight Watchers program."

From our Diet Buddy

Do you have a diet I can follow?  I weigh 185 and need to 
get down to 140.  Thanks.  Enjoy your column so much.

Hi Mary:

Thank You very much Mary.
There are quite a few different diets plans out there, so 
I would suggest a plan that you will be comfortable with.  
You can type "diets" into your search engine and pick and 
choose from anyone of the ones that come up.  If you would 
like some sort of support I would recommend above 
mentioned Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig.  These are 
guided weight loss plans and both have a very good history 
for losing weight.....one has group support and the other 
will provide a food counselor weekly who will work with 
you individually.  

If you'd rather try it alone, I would recommend a high 
protein-low carb plan like the South Beach Diet which 
seems to be very popular, and is fairly easy to follow.  
There certainly are more diet plans available if these 
don't appeal to you.  Which ever diet plan you do choose, 
make sure that it's one you can live with on a daily basis.  
You can also incorporate different diet plans into one.  
Remember to be flexible as mentioned above and don't get 
too overwhelmed.  You can do it, you've already taken the 
first step.  Good Luck to you and let me know if you have 
any questions! :) 

Have some weight loss suggestions or concerns you'd like 
to share?  Stop by our new Diet Buddy Forum at:  

or e-mail me at bottom link and I'll be happy to answer.

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer:  Since I am not a medical professional, any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week 

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