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Changing 'Fattening Habits' : Selecting the Right Weight-Loss Diet

April 10, 1986

Need help choosing a weight-loss diet? Help is on the way from the California Dietetic Assn. with the booklet: "The Diet Resolution Solution." This booklet is available by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: "The Diet Resolution Solution," 3170 4th Ave., Third Floor, San Diego 92103.

Sharon Higgins, registered dietitian and media representative for the California Dietetic Assn. in Los Angeles, said there are three important ingredients to a sensible dieting plan. They include: a highly motivated individual; a person ready to set reasonable goals within a time frame that will not doom one for failure, and a person willing to put some effort into collecting personal information, to evaluate the information honestly and to identify steps to change the "fattening habits."

Many of us eat portions that are too large or eat too many of the right-size portions. To control weight, Higgins reports that many dieters find that eating smaller portions often starts a weight loss pattern that is encouraging and begins some serious dieting.

Some additional slimming strategies include keeping a written food record reminder because some dieters find it difficult to remember what they ate for breakfast yesterday morning. A personal food record is a private way of putting the dieter in charge and responsible for oneself. The food record gives valuable information about eating habits in social situations, on weekends, during stress and mood changes. However, Higgins says that a food record is only as helpful as the dieter is honest. It can be the single-most important weight control tool.

Initiators of many eating problems are fatigue, tension, boredom, frustration, guilt, loneliness and other anxiety-stress situations. Higgins gives this advice to knock out the dieting blues: Talk things over with a friend, keep as busy as possible, and remember that worrying does not change things or situations, action does.

Some final dieting strategies advised by Higgins include learning to say "no" and meaning it; keeping fattening foods out of sight and out of the house; eating guilt-free; realizing that healthful eating is investment eating, and remembering that losing unwanted pounds cannot be rushed. Losing weight is not impossible, but it may be difficult.

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