How to stick to your diet

Dr. Brian AlmanMany of us have tried to lose weight and failed. For some it is that stubborn 10 pounds that keeps coming back, or just won’t budge. Others need to lose 50 pounds or more. The process can be daunting and discouraging. There are many good diets, but they won’t help if you can’t stick to them. Psychologist Dr. Brian Alman has helped thousands of people lose weight by showing them how to stay motivated. Let him help you too.
 
Five secrets for sticking to your diet, by Dr. Brian Alman:
When trying to stick to your diet, willpower doesn’t work; you know that already. Why? Because willpower is all in your head, and the root causes of overeating are emotional and personal, all about stress and family relationships. Whether you’re trying to lose that last 10 pounds, those stubborn 30 pounds, or more, one thing is clear: Unless you do something to lighten the emotional weight you’re carrying inside — unless you begin to become aware of your feelings, to accept them, and to express them — you’ll continue to struggle with your diet. You might lose some weight, but soon you’ll give in and gain it all back, and usually more.
Here are my five favorite quick-tips for breaking this "yo-yo" cycle. They will help you get in touch with your feelings and begin to accept yourself just as you are. This is the secret to staying with your diet. Once you start to be friendlier, caring, and compassionate with yourself, you’ll begin to lose weight effortlessly. More importantly, you’ll keep it off for good.
 
Tip 1: Breathe through your cravings
Whenever you feel the urge to eat, don’t try to stop the craving; that will only make it stronger. Instead, take a few deep, satisfying breaths. Watch the rise and fall of your breathing. Accept your breathing as it is; there’s nothing to do right, there’s nothing you can do wrong. Now focus on the cycle: inhale and exhale, and pause for a moment at the turning points, at the top and bottom of each breath. Inhale deeply, pause, exhale deeply, and pause. Inhale deeply, pause, then push the exhale, throw out all the air. Let go, let go, let go. Drink a refreshing glass of water and feel more alive.
 
Tip 2: Three times is the charm
When any weight-loss challenge comes up for you — an urge, a craving, anger, guilt, anything that stresses you — just be aware of it, just notice that it’s there inside of you, and name it slowly three times. For example, if it’s a craving, just notice it and say to yourself, "craving … craving … craving." Or go ahead and say what it is you’re craving: "chocolate … chocolate … chocolate." Or, let’s say you’re angry at something or somebody, maybe at yourself for being fat, or at others for being thin — just recognize what you’re feeling and say, "anger … anger … anger." Say it aloud softly, or say it to yourself. But say it slowly three times. Don’t miss a single opportunity. Whenever you feel weighed down by any thought or feeling, say it slowly three times, and watch what happens.
 
Tip 3: "Watch" what you eat
The next time you sit down to a meal imagine a camera just to your side filming you as you eat. Watch yourself through the eye of that camera. Notice your mood, your attitude, how tense or relaxed you are. Observe your breathing, shallow or deep, nose or chest. Watch how you hold your knife and fork. Zoom in and look at the food closely. What shape is it? How many shades of color does it have? Watch the food as it goes into your mouth. How do you chew? Turn up the sound: what can you hear? Crackling, swishing, crunching? Do you notice the flavors? The smells? What texture does the food have? Grainy, spongy, crisp? How hot or cold is it? What aftertaste does it leave? Watch the food as it goes into your stomach. Is your stomach happy to receive it? When you eat this way, with total presence and awareness, your overeating will change by itself.
 
Tip 4: Go with the flow
Ocean lifeguards teach swimmers not to fight to get out of a strong rip current. It never works, only exhausts them, and makes things worse. Instead, they should let themselves go with the current, ride with it, and even swim along with it. Soon they will come out of it without any trouble. The same goes for any challenges you may have staying on your diet. Instead of fighting your inner emotional current and drowning in your feelings, you can choose to "go with the flow." If you feel hungry, or angry, or weak, or like bingeing, don’t try to fight your feeling and make it go away. Simply go with your feeling. Feel it fully and wholeheartedly, and even exaggerate it. You’ll find that you quickly come out of it. In a few minutes, your feeling will simply be gone. You’re soon going on about your day wondering what all the fuss was about.
 
Tip 5: Say Your name
When you’re feeling caught up in your struggles with food and dieting, when you feel "beside" yourself with a craving, or self-hatred, or guilt, sadness, anger — whatever it is, just pause for a moment and focus on your breathing. Even if your breathing is tight, shallow, and stressful, just observe your inhale and exhale … inhale … and then exhale. Then — after a few breaths, on an exhale — say your name to yourself, but not aloud. Just say your own name. First name, last name, full name or a favorite name you use when you talk to yourself. Just inhale, pause, on the exhale say your name to yourself, and continue doing this for 10 to 15 breaths). Make it a kind of silent mantra of unconditional acceptance of yourself and your weight-loss challenge. Give this technique some time and energy, and you will be amazed to find yourself feeling more relaxed and accepting of yourself, and of what you are going through with your diet.
These five techniques are only a small part of my Lose Weight and Keep It Off program. It has helped thousands of people at Kaiser Permanente meet their weight-loss goals. Deepak Chopra recommends it as "very effective." Longer versions of these tips, along with many more of my weight-loss techniques, are ready to be accessed at the iPhone app store. In addition, my new book, The Voice: Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom, includes these tips as part of a larger personal growth program for anyone dealing with an emotional challenge.
More from Dr. Brian Alman
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Stick to your diet

Dr.  Brian AlmanMany of us have tried to lose weight. For some it is that stubborn 10 pounds that keeps coming back, or just won’t budge. Others need to lose 50 pounds or more. The process can be daunting and discouraging. There are many good diets, but they won’t help if you can’t stick to them. Psychologist Brian Alman has helped thousands of people lose weight by showing them how to stay motivated. Let him help you too.

 
Five secrets for sticking to your diet, by Dr. Brian Alman:
 
When trying to stick to your diet, willpower doesn’t work; you know that already. Why? Because willpower is all in your head, and the root causes of overeating are emotional and personal, all about stress and family relationships. Whether you’re trying to lose that last 10 pounds, those stubborn 30 pounds, or more, one thing is clear: Unless you do something to lighten the emotional weight you’re carrying inside — unless you begin to become aware of your feelings, to accept them, and to express them — you’ll continue to struggle with your diet. You might lose some weight, but soon you’ll give in and gain it all back … and usually more.
 
Here are my five favorite quick-tips for breaking this “yo-yo” cycle. They will help you get in touch with your feelings and begin to accept yourself just as you are. This is the secret to staying with your diet: Once you start to be friendlier, caring, and compassionate with yourself, you’ll begin to lose weight effortlessly. And more importantly, you’ll keep it off for good.
 
Tip 1: Breathe through your cravings
Whenever you feel the urge to eat, don’t try to stop the craving — that will only make it stronger. Instead, take a few deep, satisfying breaths. Watch the rise and fall of your breathing. Accept your breathing as it is; there’s nothing to do right, there’s nothing you can do wrong. Now focus on the cycle — inhale and exhale — and pause for a moment at the turning points, at the top and bottom of each breath. Inhale deeply, pause, exhale deeply, and pause. Inhale deeply, pause, then push the exhale, throw out all the air. Let go … let go … let go…. Drink a refreshing glass of water and feel more alive.
 
Tip 2: Three times is the charm
When any weight-loss challenge comes up for you — an urge, a craving, anger, guilt, anything that stresses you — just be aware of it, just notice that it’s there inside of you, and name it slowly three times. For example, if it’s a craving, just notice it and say to yourself, “craving … craving … craving.” Or go ahead and say what it is you’re craving: “chocolate … chocolate … chocolate.” Or let’s say you’re angry at something or somebody, maybe at yourself for being fat, or at others for being thin — just recognize what you’re feeling and say, “anger … anger … anger.” Say it out loud softly, or say it to yourself. But say it slowly three times. Don’t miss a single opportunity. Whenever you feel weighed down by any thought or feeling, say it slowly three times, and watch what happens.
 
 
Tip 3: “Watch” what you eat
The next time you sit down to a meal imagine a camera just to your side filming you as you eat. Watch yourself through the eye of that camera. Notice your mood, your attitude, how tense or relaxed you are. Observe your breathing, shallow or deep, nose or chest. Watch how you hold your knife and fork. Zoom in and look at the food closely. What shape is it? How many shades of color does it have? Watch the food as it goes into your mouth. How do you chew? Turn up the sound: what can you hear? Crackling, swishing, crunching? Do you notice the flavors? The smells? What texture does the food have? Grainy, spongy, crisp? How hot or cold is it? What aftertaste does it leave? Watch the food as it goes into your stomach. Is your stomach happy to receive it? When you eat this way, with total presence and awareness, your overeating will change by itself.
 
Tip 4: Go with the Flow
Ocean lifeguards teach swimmers that, when they realize they’re caught in a strong rip current, they should not fight to get out of it. It never works and only exhausts them and makes things worse. Instead, they should let themselves go with the current, ride with it — even swim along with it. Soon they will come out of it without any trouble. The same goes for any challenges you may have staying on your diet. Instead of fighting your inner emotional current and drowning in your feelings, you can choose to “go with the flow.” If you feel hungry, or angry, or weak, or like bingeing, don’t try to fight your feeling and make it go away. Simply go with your feeling, let yourself feel it fully and wholeheartedly, even exaggerate it. You’ll find that you quickly come out of it. In a few minutes, your feeling will simply be gone. You’re soon going on about your day wondering what all the fuss was about.
 
Tip 5: Say Your Name
When you’re feeling caught up in your struggles with food and dieting, when you feel “beside” yourself with a craving, or self-hatred, or guilt, sadness, anger — whatever it is — just pause for a moment and focus on your breathing. Even if your breathing is tight, shallow, and stressful, just observe your inhale and exhale … inhale … and then exhale. Then, after a few breaths, on an exhale, say your name to yourself, but not out loud, just say your own name. First name, last name, full name or a favorite name you use when you talk to yourself. Just inhale, pause, and on the exhale say your name to yourself, and continue doing this for 10 to 15 breaths). Make it a kind of silent mantra of unconditional acceptance of your self and your weight-loss challenge. Give this technique some time and energy, and you’ll be amazed to find yourself feeling more relaxed and accepting of yourself, and of what you’re going through with your diet.
 
 
These five techniques are only a small part of my Lose Weight and Keep It Off program, which has helped thousands of people at Kaiser Permanente meet their weight-loss goals, and which has been recommended as “very effective” by Deepak Chopra. Longer versions of these tips, along with many more of my weight-loss techniques, are ready to be accessed at the iPhone app store. In addition, my new book, The Voice: Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom, includes these tips as part of a larger personal growth program for anyone dealing with an emotional challenge.
 
More from Dr. Brian Alman www.TruSageInternational.com
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Look svelte for the holidays

Dr. Brian AlmanWould you like to lose a little weight before the holidays, but lack the willpower to meet your goal? Dr. Brian Alman of TruSage may be the answer. Dr. Alman developed TruSage after helping thousands of people at Kaiser Permanente lose weight and keep it off. TruSage is mind-body support system designed to support any weight loss system you are currently using.
 
On the TruSage system, you answer a carefully-detailed questionnaire. You will then receive interactive calls from Dr. Alman three times a week, designed to help you overcome your blocks to permanent weight loss. He’ll help bolster your resolve with material designed just for you and your needs. The program adapts to your responses, needs, and progress.

To learn more about this interesting and proven approach, do not miss a word of this exclusive interview with Dr. Brian Alman. Dr. Alan is also the author of the bestselling book Keep it Off.

DD: Why did you create TruSage and how does it work?
Dr. A: I created TruSage because almost everyone knows what they should do but they have not been able to make themselves do what they know they should – specifically as it relates to losing weight and keeping it off.  
 
When it comes to losing weight and other goals, it’s not a lack of information that stymies success. In fact, if anyone wants to get more information on carbs, calories, fat content or diet programs, ask an overweight person. They know everything about weight loss!
 
And yet, a startling statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published in 2009 states that 98 percent of people who lose weight end up gaining it all back, and more. It’s because of this discouraging success rate that I invented TruSage.
 
It’s scientifically proven that everyone needdaily follow-up, accountability, prodding, support, new tools to deal with emotions and stress, feedback, interaction, personalized solutions and experiential learning. And that’s what TruSage provides.
 
TruSage delivers right to your phone when and what you need most to help you lose weight and keep it off, stay motivated and active, deal with cravings, minimize emotional overeating and develop an honest, healthy body image that will be with you forever.
 
After 1years of research and expirence, I learned that the last 10 percent of the process that moves people from failure to long-term success is often the critical missing piece. TruSage is that piece needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it pertains to dieting, exercise, counseling, group therapy, medication, surgery and/or medically-supervised weight loss programs.
 
I tried doing the follow-up live, but we had such a high demand that we couldn’t handle it – even with six full-time staff.
 
With help from the experts in medicine, psychology, software, algorithms, personality, coding, interviewing, automation, wireless technology and research, we worked on this program for 15 years to reach achieve the most effective communication with the content and technology.  
 
DD: Will TruSage work to support any type of weight loss program?
Dr. A: Yes! Every weight loss program may be helpful, yet they are all missing the same thing, the support necessary to keep people motivated to keep it off for life!
 
TruSage delivers personalized, interactive, daily experiential support to keep people motivated. It helps them become successful, resourceful, positive, and friendly towards themselves and their bodies, while integrating the proven "how-to’s" that break the old, unwanted patterns. 
 
We have worked with people on every diet, from Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers.  We support all healthy diets and exercise programs.  We know that how you feel about yourself and how you take care of yourself emotionally and physically on a daily basis is the best predictor of your abilities to lose weight and keep it off.

This is because no matter which weight loss program you are on, it is secondary to the relationship you have with your body and your self – which is the number one predictor of success, both immediate and long-term.
 
 
DD: Why do most people fail at weight loss?
Dr. A: They never figure out why they gained weight in the first place. But the pent-up emotions that likely caused the weight gain still sits with them and affects them every day.  
 
Resolving emotional issues requires learning new skills and tapping into inner resources for self-acceptance, letting go, and developing new successful solutions. 
 
People who battle with their weight don’t make the connection between the emotions and the stress that can lead to overeating. So they miss out on resolving the underlying problems.
 
Often this causes them to struggle with reaching their potential in relationships. So, food becomes the replacement for love and overeating is the result. This is the number one reason for gaining weight — trouble with trust, love and acceptance in primary relationships. It is also why people regain the weight even after trying so hard to lose it.
 
The most important relationship we can cultivate is the one we have with ourselves. When those struggling with weight loss don’t reach their potential in their relationship with themselves, overeating is the next best thing. 
 
It’s a vicious cycle. With the unwanted pounds, overweight people continue to have a hard time learning how to be loving toward themselves, their bodies and their souls. Love is defined as being friendly, caring and compassionate to both ourselves and others. And loving oneself is the master key to losing weight and keeping it off.
 
DD: So many people who lose significant amounts of weight regain it after a year or two. They become discouraged. Can TruSage help these individuals too?
Dr. A: Yes. TruSage has helped these individuals too. 
 
Most people who lose weight and gain it back have done it by dieting and exercise.  Those are two legs of the stool, but people need to "add on" the third leg — the self-care elements that are integral to TruSage, such as self-acceptance, TLC, friendliness to your body and more.
 
We have worked with many people who had to lose 100 pounds or more.  They had lost weight many times before and had always gained it all back.  After TruSage, they lost the weight and kept it off for good.
 
DD: Is Trusage only for those with a lot of weight to lose, or does it work for those battling the pesky 10-15 lb. weight loss too?
Dr. A: Whether it’s 10 pounds or 100 pounds, we all deserve to be healthy and happy.
 
The TruSage calls and emails facilitate self-acceptance emotionally and physically, letting go of extra weight physically and emotionally and integration of positive, healthful, life-long habits. 
 
Our bodies are the outside of our emotions.  We overeat for two main reasons: to change our moods and to protect ourselves. 
 
As soon as you learn how to love your body and your emotions, you will start losing weight and you will keep it off. As long as people are mad at their bodies and emotions they will not help the enemy.
 
TruSage calls for a shift of your mindset from the old, unwanted focus of, "what’s wrong with me, my body and my life?" to "what’s right about me, my body and my life?" It’s amazing how something so small can make such a big difference. It’s amazing how so much can grow from one seed. It’s amazing how the lighter you feel emotionally, the lighter you are physically. Of course, the opposite is true too.
 
DD: Can Trusge help you to become confident and effective in other areas of your life?
Dr. A: Yes!  First, things happen on the inside and then they happen on the outside. TruSage will help with getting your mind, body and emotions in synch, in harmony and in positive health. TruSage has been, and still is, a very valuable tool that has helped people from every walk of life who face a wide-range of challenges, whether addictions, pain, relationships, medical conditions, sports, pregnancy or parenting. http://trusageinteractive.com/reordernow/TruSage%20Definition.html

 

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