Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Determination the Key to Successful Dieting

I am intrigued by the people around me who claim to be dieting. I say "claim" because most don't have their heart into it and rarely follow through. Seldom do these individuals have a solid plan. Rarely have they taken the inititive to do any research or reading.

Often, people at work ask me for tips. Usually I recommend that they read the "Protein Power Life Plan" by the Doctors Eades. This book has helped me form the basis of a plan that resulted in a 75 pound weight loss. Regardless, almost never do these "would-be" dieters take to heart my advice. Only one person of about 50 I've spoken with has actually purchased and read the book.

I have come to the conclusion that most people, regardless of weight, do not want to make any sacrifices. They'd lose the weight if they could pay someone else to lose it for them. But they simply do not want to make an effort to do it for themselves. Most people go on faulty diets because they want to feel that they are "trying to do something about their weight." They'd rather say that they tried and it didn't work than make an effort to do it right. It boils down to pure mental laziness. This is not a matter of intelligence so much as it is a matter of will power and determination.

Quite frequently, people announce to me that they are doing a low-carb diet also. Typically these people are only half-assing it. For example, I'll catch them eating candy bars, potato chips, or still eating other high-carb foods on a regular basis. Some actually think that fruits are low-carb. One lady who told me that they she was doing a low-carb diet was actually just eating a low-carb protein bar (packed with sugar alcohols) in place of breakfast But she was still eating everything she wanted for lunch and dinner. Also, some people only "diet" occasionally when they are thinking about it. A few have a good understanding of the science behind their diet but simply can not resist temptations... why is it that people are so weak?

Before I went on this diet, a co-worker lost about 200 pounds by following the Protein Power Lifeplan book. His doctor had recommended the book. The fact that he was morbidly obese and feared for his life gave him the determination needed to be successful.

The key to my success so far has also been determination. I had gotten so fat, lazy, tired, and unhealthy that I simply couldn't stand it anymore. Furthermore, I wanted to be around to watch my child grow up. If I wasn't fed up with my weight, then I simply would not have had the determination and will power to do anything about it. But, I didn't jump into "diet" mode immediately. I am an analyst by trade and a Virgo by birth... therefore, I took a slow, more deliberate approach, following these steps:

  1. Research weight loss plans.
  2. Develop plan.
  3. Implement plan.
  4. Document and record diet and results.
  5. Re-evaluate and adjust plan.
  6. Research maintenance strategies.
  7. Choose maintenance strategy.

If I had simply decided one day to do a low-carb diet but didn't take time to do steps 1 and 2, I'd have been totally lost. Omitting step 5 could cause stagnation. Without all of these steps, there would be no structure to my diet. I would have been setting myself up for failure. It is critical to research and plan prior to starting. If you jump in feet first, you will likely be in over your head. Yes, research and planning take effort. But what good comes in life without a sacrifice of some sort?

1 comment:

About PJ said...

I agree, that drives me nuts. The other day an old friend popped up in an IM box to me. I was in a meeting, so happy to chat, as it was dull. She tells me that she needs to lose weight for her daughter's upcoming wedding. She is on a diet where she eats nothing but cabbage. I tell her I lost a lot of weight on lowcarb. She says, that has never worked for me. I say, well it isn't for everyone, and I ask a few questions. It turns out, she has never read a single book about it. She honestly believed that honey and mangos were good on lowcarb plans because it was fruit and not-sugar. I emphasized over and over, don't get your info from an IM box or a friend. BUY THE BOOK. I recommended PPLP, or if she couldn't find that one, Atkins' NDR. Who knows if she will really read it. But I can't understand someone even BOTHERING to "sorta" be on a diet if they don't know anything about it! I researched lowcarb for eons, read research, lurked on forums, before I finally tried it, with a specific 3 week trial experiment. It worked great, but I saw the major problems I had keeping it up, so gradually increased my ingredient stores and appliances and so on until by the time I went on the plan 'for real' I had all the information and tools necessary to do it right. Why this isn't a normal, no-brainer approach is just beyond me. How do people have adult jobs, if they pay so little attention to detail, to researching things, to critical thinking? This is something I've never really understood.