What Do You Have to Lose? An 8-Step Weight-Loss Plan
Adapt and Adjust
You talked, we listened. When you need to lose a lot of weight, reading about how to drop those last five pounds is like getting marriage advice when you're single: It just doesn't apply. Follow typical diet rules and you may shed a few pounds quickly, but you'll end up cranky and hungry. "Trying to do too much too fast is guaranteed not to work. You'll get frustrated, burn out, and be right back where you started," says Martha Beck, PhD, Oprah's life coach and author of The Four Day Win. Instead, the approach on these pages has been designed to help you lose at least 30 pounds in a healthy, sensible way.Step 1: Adapt and Adjust
Ditching a lot of pounds is as much an emotional process as a physical one. You'll need to lay a psychological foundation for success before you attempt to change your behavior, experts say. "Getting your mind accustomed to, and not afraid of, a new behavior is key," says Robert Maurer, PhD, a psychologist and author of One Small Step Can Change Your Life. Here's how to get your head in the game.
- Find a new BFF. For many of us, food is a friend -- it's what we turn to when we're lonely or upset. Stop thinking of it that way and "allow yourself to grieve for the loss," says Lyssa Menard, PhD, a psychologist in Chicago. She suggests finding a replacement that keeps your hands busy, such as knitting or posting entries on a weight-loss message board. "It should be something that makes you feel good," she explains.
- Cut yourself some slack. "Think 80 percent, not 100 percent," says Menard. In other words, accept the fact that you don't have to be perfect. Changing your patterns 80 percent of the time is much better than being perfect just occasionally.
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