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Nip It in the Bud (Notes)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The notes below are important to me because, while I have always been able to lose large amounts of weight, I have never been able to maintain my losses. This particular chapter of one of the books I'm reading addresses strategies for how to do just that, so I want to be sure I have this information where I can get it and remind myself of it as I continue transforming my lifestyle.

I also think this information is important because every weight loss program I've ever followed was great about telling me how to take weight off, but really fell down on the job when it came to teaching me about maintenance. I bet most of you have found that to be the case, too, so I want to share this information with you.

My notes from “Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from people who have Lost Weight & Kept It Off”, Chapter 5 (Nip It in the Bud: Break the Relapse Cycle):

1. Day-by-day, meal-by-meal process

2. Important to establish set guidelines for maintenance for yourself and keep to them faithfully

3. Set a weight range around your ideal weight that is acceptable, allowing for daily weight variations due to water retention, “time of the month”, etc. (most people who successfully keep weight off give themselves about a 5 lb. margin; some allow themselves a 10 lb. margin)

a. If you weight goes up for a day, it's not something to be concerned with because
it’s probably normal weight fluctuation

b. If weight gain stays for a week, it’s time to take action

4. Monitor your weight closely and, if you gain just a small amount, lose it again

a. Weigh regularly (once a week, 2 or 3 times a week, once a month, etc.), always at
the same time of day

b. Fit of your clothing

c. Look at self in mirror

d. Belt holes

e. Clothing size changes

5. Plan for what you will do when your weight hits the upper end of your buffer zone

a. Figure out what caused the gain (eating more calories, not exercising as much,
etc.), then take corrective action

b. Stop snacking

c. Eat more fruits and vegetables

d. Exercise more

e. Reduce calories

f. Give up sweets

g. Give up alcohol

h. If you’re no longer tracking food and exercise, resume doing so

i. Go back to weighing/measuring portion sizes

j. Eat smaller portions

k. Drink more water

l. Do NOT view corrective action as punishment

i. Remind yourself how good you feel when you’re eating right and exercising

ii. Be patient and allow enough time to lose the weight (don’t expect to lose it

iii. Treat the corrective action as an opportunity to try out new healthy
foods/recipes/ forms of exercise that you will enjoy, making it seem like more
of a reward

iv. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing something to reverse the upward
trend BEFORE it gets out of hand

v. Remind yourself that it’s much easier to deal with 5 or 10 lbs of excess
weight than it is to deal with 50 or more

6. Don’t let "lapses" become "relapses"

a. A healthy lifestyle does not mean you are on a diet and exercise plan or off one –
it’s not an all or nothing thing and there should be flexibility

b. It’s not necessary to talk yourself down for each and every little “slip” or “lapse”,
but it IS important to take action so that the situation doesn’t get out of hand and
become a “relapse”.

c. Lapse = single event of slipping, doing something unplanned, that isn’t ideal for
weight management

d. A planned indulgence, like a piece of birthday cake, is not a “slip” or “lapse” and
should involve no guilt over enjoying a “bad” food.

e. Relapse occurs when the person views a “lapse” as a total loss of control and a
failure, causing them to think they’ve “blown it” and fall back into their old,
unhealthy habits.

f. Extended relapses can lead to large weight gains

g. View the occasional “lapse” as a learning experience

i. What went wrong?

ii. How can you prevent it from happening again?

h. A “lapse” is NOT a sign of personal weakness

7. To prevent “relapse”:

a. Identify your potential high-risk situations (times when you’re likely to have
a “lapse”) & why those situations are difficult for you (Is it the availability of the
food itself or is it the “food pusher”? Is it eating in the car or is it eating in the car
on your way home from the grocery store, with the bag of food sitting on the front
seat next to you?)

b. Prevent high-risk situation as best as you can

i. Do this in advance as much as possible because it’s much easier to eat than
to consider your options once those situations have occurred

c. Effectively deal with high-risk situations when they do occur (again, that pre-
planning is important

i. Set realistic expectations

ii. Behavioral strategies

1. Walking away from the food

2. Doing something else instead of eating

3. Talking to someone

4. Eating an alternate, low-calorie food

iii. Cognitive strategies

1. Think about something else

2. Positive, encouraging self-talk

3. Thinking about the consequences of overeating

iv. Do NOT expect perfection

d. React constructively after high-risk situations

i. Avoid self-blame and guilt (increases chances of relapse)

ii. If you make a mistake, simply start again

iii. Ask yourself what went wrong

iv. Is there a way you can avoid a similar situation in the future?

v. How can you handle a similar situation differently in the future?

vi. What can I do in the short-term to make up for the “lapse”? Exercise a little
more? Eat a little less? Chalk it up to experience and just move forward?

e. Every time you use a relapse-prevention skill you increase your sense of self-
efficacy related to weight management (see my blog about self-efficacy from
December 7, 2014)

8. Set goals that are attainable

a. Avoid the words “never”, “always”, and “every day” when setting goals.

i. Too perfectionist

ii. Promote all-or-nothing thinking

iii. Encourage all-or-nothing behavior

b. Set “just for today” or “just for this week” goals

i. Short-term and achievable

ii. Builds self-efficacy

c. Replace “I will be” (thinner, healthier, etc.) goals with “I will do” (exercise 3 times
a week, drink water before my meal) goals

d. Goals should be specific and describe a specific behavior that is clearly
understood so that you know when you actually meet it. (I will do Strength
Training 3 time a week)

e. Base your goals on where you are now, not where you want to be in the future (If
you’ve always gained weight over Christmas, it may be more realistic to have a
goal of maintaining your current weight this year, as opposed to losing)

f. Avoid “should” and “have to” goals

i. Make people feel deprived and guilty

ii. Important to feel as though you have a choice

g. Set flexible goals and be ready to change them

i. If you have trouble meeting a goal, break it into smaller steps (chained

9. Look at the big picture

a. The likelihood that a single “lapse” will undo all the healthy changes you’re
making is miniscule to zero

b. Define success as more than reaching a goal weight (i.e., focus on making a
lifestyle change)

c. Give yourself credit for the good things you do

d. Don’t berate yourself for the slip-ups that will inevitably come

And . . .

Don't Give Up!

(Sorry this isn't more "readable". I REALLY wish SP would allow us more options for formatting text (especially for outlines like this)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon geat advise,
    1556 days ago
  • JANET552
    Great info!
    1556 days ago
    I can see you are enjoying the book. Sounds very informative. emoticon
    1556 days ago
    I really needed to read this and to learn. Thanks for taking the time to post all this good information.
    1556 days ago
    emoticon Thank You for sharing these!! They deserve to be Printed Off and Posted where they can be Read Frequently! !
    1557 days ago
    As always, great information. Thank you for taking note of it and for your willingness to share it with us. In the past I thought many of the thoughts mentioned above when I arrived at "Maintenance" which led me to longer relapses and larger weight gain. I know now that exercise and calorie counting will always be part of my life and it brings me a sense of security rather than dread.

    This is an excellent resource, can't wait until I need it!

    1557 days ago
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