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Change is Hard – So Let’s Make it Easier!

Have you ever thought, “I know what I need to do, I just have to do it!”? Moving from the “knowing” to the “doing” is such a common barrier for all of us because, let’s face it, change is hard. And when it comes to making changes for weight loss? Really hard! But did you know that the approach most people take to lose weight can make it even more difficult?

The Not-to-do Approach

Many people attempt weight loss through a lens of deprivation - what we call a “not-to-do” approach: “Don’t eat this!”, “Don’t eat that!” and no matter what, “Stay away from those!”

There are serious challenges with this approach.

First, there are just so many not-to-do’s out there! Many of the most popular foods today are also highest in calories, and every day more of these foods are introduced into the marketplace.

Complicating matters, most people bring a history of eating higher calorie food with them as they’re trying to lose weight. You could say they’ve developed a habit of eating high calorie food – and that is a very tough habit to break.

Finally, there’s the simple fact that it’s a lot harder to say “No” to food than it is to say “Yes.” And that’s what the not-to-do approach rests on, saying, “No” to food… all the time. Take these challenges together and it’s no wonder that this approach, though very popular, isn’t very successful for weight loss.

A To-do Approach​

So, here’s how to make weight loss easier: practice a “to-do” approach. To-do behaviors are the focus of the HMR diet plan for several good reasons:

There are a select few to-do’s versus virtually unlimited not-to-do’s. This keeps the task clear, which helps you stay focused and committed.

The to-do’s can be easily measured. When you practice a to-do, you can assign a value to it and easily add it to what you’ve already done. This feels good, like you’re pushing a rolling ball downhill. In contrast, how do you measure not eating cake, avoiding cookies or skipping the pizza?

To-do behaviors follow a simple rule we call “More is Better.” We’ve found that the more you do of the to-do’s, the more likely you are to stick to the diet, and the better you do with your weight.

In Phase 1 of the HMR Program, you focus on a select few to-do’s (HMR Foods, fruits and vegetables and physical activity). This structured to-do approach is designed to keep your calorie intake low every day in order to lose the most weight.

In Phase 2 of the HMR Program, you slowly expand your list of to-do’s (lean proteins, grains, low calorie snacks/desserts) while keeping up many of your best to-do routines from Phase 1. This structured to-do approach is designed to support your success long term.

The Bottom Line

Your weight loss success comes down to practicing new “to-do” behaviors to build new, healthier habits. Focus only on the things that will help you be successful. This approach is simpler, more motivating, and easier than trying to think about all the things you shouldn’t be doing. And, ultimately, can help you feel more successful.

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
– Socrates

If you’d like to learn more about permanent weight loss, please feel free to call us or schedule an appointment with Dr. Isaacs using the online booking tool on this website.

Author
Scott Isaacs, MD Endocrinologist and Weight Loss Specialist

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