A Waist of Effort

Ask Dr. Diet American Association of Bariatric CounselorsDear Dr. Diet,

I’ve lost the same 30 pounds…10 times! When I feel strangled by my waistband I go back to my keto diet.

Dear “A Waist Is A Terrible Thing to Mind”,

Veteran dieters are experts at the all-or-nothing, stuff/starve syndrome…one day broccoli, the next day is ice cream. (Perhaps Ben & Jerry should consider a broccoli flavored ice cream.)
It appears that your body has a weight settling point, that’s higher than your mind approves of.  If I can’t convince you to accept your nature…let me offer some suggestions.

I think you would agree that you never really lost 30 lbs but 1 pound 30 times and conversely you never gained 30 lbs, rather 1 pound 30 times. I don‘t know anyone that is in the “diet mode” (as opposed to a la mode) that said, “As soon as I lose the weight I am going to regain it.” Nonetheless that is what usually happens.

Give Yourself Permission to Guiltlessly Gain Weight
Seemingly weight gain is the natural expectancy following loss, why not give yourself permission to guiltlessly gain weight in smaller increments and lose it in smaller increments. If you lose and gain 3lbs, ten times it is the same thirty pounds…but you will win your approval and not be waistband strangled. It is a lot easier to lose 3lbs then 30.

Stretching Point
If you take a rubber band and stretch it just a bit it easily snaps back to shape. However, if you stretch it to its limits it takes on a new shape (this is an ideal visual aid for group or individual counseling.)

Losing Weight and Not Finding It Again 
Many Folks that have been able to lose weight and not find it again seem to use this stretching point concept and get used  to small increments of weight gain and commensurate losses…without judgement and guilt.
Setting up a personal stretch point for yourself (perhaps 3-5 pounds) emulates the natural human weight fluctuation of folks that always stay within the same weight range and never diet.
Typical obstacles will be:

  • Abandoning the unfounded guilt and shame of weight gain
  • Not avoiding your personal stretch point
  • Recognizing this is a lifelong lifestyle behavioral change

Paradoxically allowing oneself to guiltlessly gain weight is a key to sustaining weight-loss.
“Ask Dr.Diet” is a pseudonym for Stephen Phillips, a Board Certified Bariatric Counselor and public health director for the American Association of Bariatric Counselors (AABC).


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