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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

The One Minute Diet Tip That Puts You in Control
by Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D. and Julie Schwarz
www.mariaslastdiet.com

It takes less than a minute?sometimes even seconds?to blow a diet. Here's how to keep it together, stay on your diet so you can get to your goal. It only takes a minute, but it's that make-or-break kind of minute.

You don't need to keep falling off your eating plan. This one minute act will give you the control you need to really stick to it.

It goes like this:

Slow down
Think
Open your mind
Pay attention
When you put together the first letters of each direction, it spells out S-T-O-P. This is how to STOP yourself from losing control.

1. Slow down
A common reason people get into diet trouble is that they act on impulse. After all, you have probably trained yourself well to reach for food instantly without thinking about it. It's pretty much an automatic response at this point. A response to what is an individual matter. It might be a reaction to something distasteful or painful or hard or even just annoying. For some people it's even the way they respond to feeling good, proud or relieved. What reaching for food so automatically does is render you helpless, simply a creature of habit. You can very successfully interfere with this mechanism by first slowing down. You don't need to beat yourself up or take a hot bath or go for a walk. Just slow down, take a moment. That's all.

2. Think
Here is where mind power comes in. During this moment when you have slowed yourself down, think about what's happening. Take a look around. Where are you? Who else is there? What's the situation? Is there something disturbing you about it? Is there something you need for yourself in this situation? Is there something you'd like to express? All these thoughts will serve to illuminate the problem of the moment. You are not just a victim of your habits when you exercise your ability to think.

3. Open your mind
As thoughts come, be careful not to censor them. You might have thoughts that are surprising to you, things you didn't even know you think about. Maybe some are not such nice thoughts. Maybe you're really angry. Maybe you're feeling bad about yourself. Maybe a sad thought will pop up. In any case, try to let your thoughts come without closing your mind to them. They will hurt you much more if you ignore them.

4. Pay attention
Now that you've let your thoughts run a little more freely, pay attention to them. They will help you understand why you are teetering on the brink of blowing your diet. Pay attention to your thoughts at this moment even if they are small ideas, even if they don't seem significant to you. It doesn't necessarily take a great big thought to throw you off course. Quite often it's something small but very meaningful to you. The tiniest thought can be a key to understanding.

You will be amazed to see how well this one minute diet manager works. You will be interfering with your usual reflex to eat, your usual habit of using food to control a situation. Interfering this way will make its mark on your unwanted habit and pretty much stop it in its tracks. Use this one minute diet manager again and again and you will change things for good.

So remind yourself next time you have the impulse to blow your diet . . . S-T-O-P.

Slow down
Think
Open your mind
Pay attention
Try it out. It only takes a minute.

Dr. Kenneth Schwarz, a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Connecticut, and his wife Julie are the founders of www.mariaslastdiet.com, a website offering strategies and support for diet success. Dr. Schwarz provides tools to help women succeed regardless of which diet they choose. Sign up for their free newsletter and receive ongoing support for total diet success.

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