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Creating Your Diet Attack Plan

Dec 13, 2007
The first ingredient towards your new lifestyle starts with having the ability to identify the behaviors that are impacting your eating and your resulting weight.

Remember, most people go on a diet, lose the weight and then put the weight back on. Having the ability to lose weight proves that the dieter has the discipline to stick with a diet.

Unfortunately regaining the weight also indicates that the dieter was unsuccessful in identifying or resolving underlying issues of eating.

As a result, the first and most important personal ingredient addresses the need to identify your own behaviors and begin the process of putting an action plan in place for allowing you to overcome them.

To start this process, take a moment and think about the following 5 questions:

- What do you want to change about yourself?

When you think about this question, think in terms of the little things that you do on a daily basis, that have a direct impact on your weight.

Some of these things could be the habit of starting your day with a muffin or a donut, skipping breakfast, stopping for fast food on your way to or from work, eating while shopping on your way home from the grocery store, eating unhealthy lunches or dinners, eating the kids' snacks, having ice cream at night, or finding that your cravings have more control over you, than you have over them.

The list goes on and on, and is as diverse and unique as each person. The important things to think about are your own personal behaviors and the things that you would like to get under control.

Now, don't feel bad if you start to think about your own list and the issues seem infinite.

I know for myself, when I went through this process, my own personal list was over 50 items long. What matters most right now is taking the time to think about the behaviors that you want to overcome.

So, take a moment, pull out a piece of paper and make your own personal list. While doing this might seem a little intimidating, know that the personal behavior list that you are creating is actually the start of your own attack plan for taking back your life and truly creating a new lifestyle.

- What are your personal triggers?

While your behavior list may seem long and intimidating, the events or circumstances in our lives that lead to our behaviors are often very similar. Meaning, the majority of people seek comfort in food to handle stress or anxiety.

Often, they aren't hungry at all, but are simply seeking a few moments of caloric solace in their day. For example, whenever I had a stressful meeting at work or got into an argument with my wife, I would immediately find myself reaching out for food.

For some, certain people or situations in their lives can trigger a response or a desire to eat. What really matters most is trying to identify various events in your life that you associate with your poor eating behaviors.

In doing this, you'll find that regardless of how big your list of behaviors is, certain events in your life will stand out more and more. And you'll start to understand yourself a little better.

- Is food helping or hurting you?

In examining your own behaviors and the events that cause them, the next step is to examine the consequences that you would like to change.

For example, if you are someone who eats because of stress or anxiety, does the food make you feel better? When you get into an argument with a family member, does food help to resolve the stress?

Regardless of the behaviors that you are trying to overcome, begin to think about the things that food is providing for you and what it represents to you.

For some people, it's not so much about emotion, but more about situation. Food has become such a huge part of celebrating and being social that it's hard to enjoy the company of others without having any event surrounded by eating.

In examining your own behaviors, think about the consequences of what it is you are trying to overcome.

- What are your personal goals?

While it's impossible to overcome all of your behaviors at one time, it's critical to have goals and an action plan for allowing you to take baby steps along your journey.

So, for each of the behaviors that you are trying to overcome, create clear and concise goals for overcoming them. Some examples include:

"I will no longer eat in my car."
"I will no longer visit the vending machine at work."
"I will no longer eat fast food."
"I will no longer eat late at night."
"I will no longer drink mocha lattes."

For each one of your behaviors, try and come up with a clear goal. Keep in mind that this is not an easy thing to do. For the first time in your life, you may be admitting to things that you would rather not be thinking about.

Write them down on paper. This is a personal exercise just for you and is for your eyes only.

Then, having completed your list of goals, take the time to list out an action plan. For example, when I feel stressed, I will go outside and get some fresh air, instead of visiting the vending machine.

When I'm out with friends and we order our mocha lattes, I will order a nonfat latte or have bottled water. Or, since I've gotten into the bad habit of eating fast food on my way home each night, I'll take another way home so that I won't be tempted.

Having this action plan is critical! As you can see, in listing out each of your behaviors, and listing your goals with an action plan for each, you have now given yourself a plan of attack for creating your new lifestyle.

So now no matter what situation you face, by taking the time to think about the behaviors that you are trying to overcome and the actions that you will take when faced with them, you now have a working model.

Definitely don't discount the power of having your plan to help in overcoming any challenge that you face.

- How will you reward yourself?

This might seem silly, but taking the time to celebrate your small victories along the way is critical. Creating your new lifestyle isn't just about the score on the scale, but it's about the little victories along the way and being able to overcome the challenges that you face on a day-to-day basis.

Take the time to reward yourself. For example, after you have achieved a small victory, you might reward yourself by ending the day with a bubble bath, taking a moment and smiling in the mirror, or looking over your list and putting a check mark next to the behavior that you were able to overcome.

I know for myself, my own personal list was infinite, but with each small success that I had, I always took the time to check off my behavior list and remind myself that I was slowly facing down each of the behaviors in my life that had been holding me back.

Taking the time to identify your behaviors, the events, the consequences, and having clear goals and an action plan will allow you to have the framework for a working plan to take back your life.

Then, always reward yourself along the way; it will help to keep the journey fun, and also serve as a reminder that although the ingredients for success are small, each one of them is taking you one step closer to your new lifestyle.
About the Author
Visit www.NewLifestyleDiet.com for healthy diet foods, weight loss programs, and nutritional products including a liquid diet plan.
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