How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

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The 4-Step Plan

If you're trying to stay on your diet, here are a few additional tips from the book Think Thin, Be Thin: 101 Psychological Ways to Lose Weight.

Say an affirmation.

Say an affirmation over and over in your head. This is one of the fastest ways to restructure your thought patterns, develop new pathways in your brain, and change your mind-set about food. Some examples are "I eat with restraint and work out with vigor." Or "I choose to be conscious of and control my eating."

Watch for weasel words.

Weasel words such as "I'm hoping to lose weight or planning to go on a diet." Push the delete button in your mind and say instead, "I will lose weight."

Set up an imaginary picture in your brain.

For example, instead of saying, "I must exercise today" create a vivid, mental image and say to yourself, "I'm going to run on the beach today" or "I'm going to walk on my treadmill." Painting such mental pictures triggers electrochemical changes that prime your brain to translate your thought into action.

Develop a good memory.

Develop a good memory that stores the kindnesses that come your way. Pausing to reflect on all the positives in your life before you grab something to eat sets the stage for more mindful eating.

Doris Wild Helmering is a psychotherapist and coauthor of the book Think Thin, Be Thin (Broadway Books).


Originally published on, January 2005.


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