Psychological Self-Help

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Guidelines for Losing Weight if Moderately Overweight
1. Remember the expertise of three disciplines is involved:
psychology, nutrition, and medicine. You need to know some of all
three. See Nutrition.gov (http://www.nutrition.gov/).
2. Become familiar with the 20 Methods for Controlling Behavior
described above. 
3. Realize that good weight loss is probably not starving, a crash
diet, pills, or a special “program,” it is simply acquiring the habits to
eat good tasting, healthy food in the right amount for the rest of your
life. For some dieters, especially those with a lot to lose, a special diet
is necessary to get satisfying results. Get your "bulk," as my
Grandmother used to say. That means high fiber--vegetables, beans,
fruit, nuts, and grains--which give you only half as many calories as
meat, sugars, cheeses, and fried foods. An occasional "day off" may
make a long diet more tolerable. 
4. Weight loss almost always involves increased exercise. See ACE
/).  Be active, move around even in sedentary jobs; it’s good for you.
If exercise is hard for you and you do little, read Fenton & Bauer
(1995) who recommend walking. Also, strength training ("pumping
iron") will add muscle as fat comes off; muscle burns more calories
and keeps your metabolic rate high (Nelson, 1999). If you are not
used to hard exercise, see a physician, build up gradually, and guard
against injuries. 
5. To drop one pound of weight each week: Cut 250-300 calories per
day (1 candy bar, 2 light beers or soft drinks, 3-4 oz. of meat or
cheese) AND exercise more each day (1 hour walking or yard work,
1/2 hour jog or bike ride, 1/2 hour swim). One pound=3500 calories. 
6. Find a time of relative quiet in your life to start your new
eating/exercise habits. Once started, avoid missing any days (if it
happens, get back on schedule as soon as possible). 
7. Eat at times and in sufficient amount so you don’t get hungry.
Relax and enjoy eating. Don’t let your calorie intake drop below 1100
calories per day. 
8. Your genes may be a factor. Eating Disorders and being
overweight tend to run in families (that doesn’t prove it is genetic).
However, depression, low self-esteem, helplessness, poor body image,
anxiety, obsessive-compulsive habits, and sometimes perfectionism,
addictions, and impulsiveness also run in families with Eating
Disorders. Histories including teasing, rejection, abuse, death of a
loved one, and giving birth are common. These factors make losing
weight a little harder but they won’t stop a determined self-helper. 
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