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Craig Weingrow, M.D.
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Try these behavior-changing approaches to weight loss, and focus on the ones that speak to you.
Distraction approach
This is a way to change unhealthy eating habits by focusing your attention on something else when food cravings start. To use this approach, when you feel a craving coming on, remind yourself that it will last for 20 minutes at most. Then do something — call a friend, read a book, revisit your goals, take a walk — anything that will distract you until the feeling passes.

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Grabbing a bagel on your way to work might be as routine as brushing your teeth. Changing eating habits you’ve developed over the years — even unconsciously — can feel as tough as trying to move a mountain. Yes, learned behaviors are hard to undo, but if you take it step-by-step, it's certainly possible. Try these behavior-changing approaches, and focus on the ones that speak to you.

ABC approach

Heading off problems before they develop is the crux of this approach. “A” stands for antecedent, “B” stands for behavior and “C” stands for consequence. Most behaviors have an antecedent — or cause. And causes lead to consequences. By addressing antecedents first, you can prevent unwanted consequences. For example, you might decide not to buy ice cream, because keeping it in the freezer leads to the behavior of eating most or all of it in one sitting, which has the consequence of disrupting your weight program.
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Reward Yourself

Once you’ve reached your weight loss goals, you’ll have to switch up your mindset in order to maintain the weight. It’s easy to assume that your body will take care of itself. Unfortunately, this is the exact mistake that can pose a problem for successful maintenance. Researchers suggest that rewarding yourself for sticking to a good diet and exercise routine plays a crucial role in the success of weight loss maintenance. These rewards can be anything from a new exercise outfit to a new book.
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