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How to Start a Weight-Loss Program

Preparing to Lose Weight

Change can be exhilarating and exciting; it can also be frightening and stressful. As you consider making changes toward a new, healthier lifestyle, it's important to assess your attitude toward change. We'll define attitudes as "consciously held beliefs." Before beginning any process of change, it's particularly important to understand whether your attitudes will move you toward, or away from, the goals you set. To help assess your attitudes, honestly answer the following true-or-false questions:

  1. Losing enough weight to reach my goal weight would guarantee me everlasting happiness.

  2. It's a good idea to save my larger-size clothes just in case I need them again.

  3. I find myself hating people I see in exercise classes or jogging down the street.

  4. When I'm exercising and eating right, I get angry and frustrated when the scale doesn't show immediate results.

  5. I feel deprived when I'm dieting and can't wait until I'm off the diet so that I can have my favorite foods again.

  6. Once I lose weight, I'll look so good that I won't have to exercise anymore.

  7. It's not fair that other people eat more than I do and don't have a weight problem.

  8. In order to stay at my goal weight, I need to deprive myself and miss out on life's fun.

  9. Someday I'll be able to take a pill that will allow me to eat all I want and still lose weight.

  10. I view exercise as torture or punishment.

  11. Unless I lose five pounds per week, I feel discouraged and want to go off my diet.

  12. It's impossible to have an active social life and still lose weight.

  13. Keeping a food diary is childish and embarrassing.

  14. Food is my best friend.

  15. I feel panicky if food is not available when I want it.

  16. It's impossible for me to lose weight because of my family history.

  17. Once I begin exercising, if I miss more than a day or two, I feel I've blown it, so I quit.

  18. It's impossible for me to deal with life's stresses without turning to food.

If you answered "true" to more than four of these questions, you have some attitudes that may not move you toward your goals. It's important to identify and change these attitudes in order to lose weight permanently. If you answered "true" to ten or more of these questions, failure to change these destructive attitudes is likely to result in your being unsuccessful at keeping weight off once you've lost it. You may want to seek the assistance of a support group or of a mental-health professional.

Hopefully now you are ready to choose a weight loss program. While there are endless programs to choose from, for whichever one you select, you will need a positive attitude. Learn how in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.