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Tips to get off the weight loss roller coaster

There are many reasons people fail at weight-loss attempts. But many of my patients admit their biggest problem is this: They cannot keep the commitment they made to themselves.

They may start a new diet and exercise plan, and even feel psyched to lose weight. Yet they give up, regain the lost weight (plus a few more defeating pounds) and have to start all over. That is, whenever they can muster the emotional energy to renew their commitment.

Millions of people lose millions of pounds each year but fail to maintain the healthy lifestyle that lasts for life. Why is that?

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Perhaps too much focus is put on the weight-loss portion of the equation, rather than the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve long-term success. Watching the numbers drop on the scale is exciting; keeping them down may not be.

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But just being tired of the roller coaster doesn't mean you know how to stay off it.

This type of commitment requires a few important steps:

-- Easy does it: Diets cause weight loss, not the means to maintain that weight loss. That's especially true for rigid, quirky diets. Nobody can subsist on cabbage soup or boiled eggs indefinitely. Sooner or later, the dieter falls back on the behaviors that led to the weight gain in the first place.

So make sure you enjoy the food you'll be eating and the exercise you'll be doing during your weight loss, because you should plan on doing it (with minor variations) for the rest of your life. After all, who wants to waste time on something that's destined to fail?

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