Yes, the science of change is complicated. It's not as simple as vowing, "Tomorrow, I'll change!" At any one time, 50 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight. Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry because it's not easy to lose weight -- and it may be even harder to keep the weight off once you've lost it.
Giving up cigarettes may be a piece of cake compared with changing eating habits. If you smoke and you want to stop, you can just quit and go on living. There are no repercussions. There are great side effects to stopping smoking: improved health, lowered risk for cancer and heart disease and increased disposable income!
However, you cannot stop eating. You must eat to live. What you eat is deeply ingrained in your daily life. Choices made on a daily basis, meal by meal, are what govern our ability to achieve a healthy weight and stay there.
What's the Secret?
I find that people at a party or at work will often joke, "Don't eat that. Susan's watching!" I find it both amusing and disconcerting that so many people have no idea of the secret to staying slim.
So here it is. It's not one single secret, though. It's a couple of secrets, and happily, the secrets are out!
By the way, my friend who formerly ate "all she wanted" went from a size 6 to a size 12, as she changed from a physically active person to one whose job kept her at her desk all day. The other friend, who for years couldn't understand why she didn't lose weight even though she dieted and restricted her calories, has now become a fit and trim woman who does something to get her heart rate up every day. And she is happily maintaining her weight loss and health. She's making healthy food choices -- that secret is important, too.
The Secrets to Staying Slim:
1. Research confirms that the biggest predictor of successful weight loss and maintained weight loss is -- drum roll, please -- exercise! Find some way to include physical activity into your busy schedule.
2. Practice your mantra every day: high fiber, low fat. When you have a choice, make it a high-fiber, low-fat choice. Choose whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein and skinless poultry.