4 Ways to Lose the Weight and Stay Stress-Free
Constant Temptation, No Satisfaction
The Sign: You see temptation around each and every corner.
The Cause: Making temporary changes instead of adopting permanent healthy habits.
Dieting with an end in sight (e.g., "only two more weeks of carrot sticks and I'm a free woman!") focuses your attention on everything you can't have, making you feel deprived. Each time you start a new diet, it's a jolt to the system followed by several months of agony.
The Fix: "Gradually incorporate small changes that you'll stick with for life," recommends Schwartz. Deciding to replace your afternoon potato-chip fix with a piece of fruit from now on isn't nearly as traumatizing as banning every form of bread. Instead of listing the foods you'll shun in order to cut calories, focus on what you'll add to your diet to stay satisfied and improve your health. For example, if you buy fresh kiwifruit and have two after dinner when you'd normally have a cup of ice cream, you'll lose 10 pounds in six months -- without breaking into tears every time you pass a Baskin-Robbins. Small switches are easier to get used to, so that over time, you won't even feel like you're "on a diet."
Originally published in Fitness magazine, February 2006.
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