Any health, emotional or personality problems that compound the overeating tendency should be investigated and dealt with to the best of one's ability. Although some contributing factors are discussed elsewhere, the real key to success comes from being motivated. Rather than outward dietary restrictions, the key for personal success in many areas needs to come from within.
It would be nice if there was a magic pill to make our problems go away. Many people think there is, and turn to recreational and/or prescription drugs.
When someone makes a poor choice, it is easy for them to feel bad about themselves, and make additional poor choices. Failure begets failure -- but this principle works both ways. Success begets success. Making a good choice, even when it is hard, makes the next good choice easier. You've heard the expressions "Nothing succeeds like success" and "It takes money to make money." Well, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step, each step becoming easier.
Whether or not others think you are successful, how do you feel about yourself? Do you feel that you are a success or a failure? If you are unhappy with your answer, you need to stop and seriously ask yourself whether you want to move in the direction of success. The answer to that question depends on no one else: only you can answer that question, and you can answer it whichever way you like. You CAN be successful, even if you have failed dozens of times. The only real loser is the one who quits trying. Frequently the winner just happens to be the 'last man standing', so don't give up. It may be that the key to your success just requires a little more investigation or effort.
When you are adequately motivated, the impossible becomes possible and the improbable becomes a given. For some of us, even the smallest obstacle stops us in our tracks because we are poorly motivated. A freight train doesn't care that there is a little wooden barricade across the tracks that says stop. Only the engineer (you) and massive obstacles are going to slow or stop that train. Just as the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step, a freight train gathers speed a little bit at a time, until it is very powerful. Get a vision of how things should be or how you want them to be, not how they are. Focus on your desired goal. If you see it as reality, it can become reality.
Here are two keys to help you change the way things are and make them the way they should be. Don't quickly read these and move on. They may make the difference between your success and failure.
- Spend 10 percent of your time on the problem, and 90 percent on the solution.
- ANALYZE the problem, PLAN a course of action, then TAKE ACTION.
Here are some tips to assist in weight loss.
- Don't weigh yourself daily - once a week is fine. Aim for slow and steady weight loss. The habits you develop to produce this gradual weight loss will enable you to keep the weight off also. A weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week is a good goal.
- Make exercising a priority. It doesn't matter if it rains, someone calls, or you have 101 things to do. When you find an exercise you enjoy and look forward to, it becomes a priority. Only a little willpower is required to keep it a priority.
- Drink at least half a gallon of water each day. Don't eat dinner until you've finished drinking your daily water requirement.
- Pick one place at home and work that you will do all your eating. Be sure you are seated. Don't eat anywhere else. No counter eating, couch eating, car eating, etc.
- Eat only if hungry. Keep healthy foods handy like fruit or vegetables in the fridge. A hard boiled egg, kept in the fridge, can be taken with you, if you have to leave suddenly or unexpectedly.
- Soups are a great meal, they are filling, tasty, and healthy.
- If you are going to a restaurant, decide ahead of time what you will be eating. Stick to it.
- Set up a schedule for when you will eat your food and snacks.
- Watch food labels. Foods with a high percentage of fat (or carbohydrates that are sugars) will slow down your weight loss program. Don't just count grams, but instead percentage of total calories that are fat or sugars. Insulin-producing rapidly absorbed carbohydrates may be your worst enemy.
- Keep all food in the kitchen or pantry, not in any other places.
- Never starve yourself, especially before going out to eat, or you will binge. Never skip meals as you must have some kind of nourishment regularly or your body's starvation defenses will kick in, lower your metabolism, and store fat. Use nutritional meal replacements instead of skipping or eating very low calorie meals.
- Have the rest of your family or live-ins make their own snacks.
- Trim all fats from meats, remove skin from chicken.
- Don't put extra food in bowls and jars on the kitchen table. Keep it in the kitchen or put it away.
- Make your shopping lists in advance and, as we all know, don't shop when you are hungry!
Gaining insights into compulsive eating is an important step in resolving this problem. Additional help can be found from books such as Eating in Freedom
by Tom McGregor or Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating
by Geneen Roth, both inexpensive and easy to read.