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Holistically lose weight by finding a program that is personalized for you

Dr. Howard Shapiro New York City Weight Loss Physician and NY Times Bestselling Author Howard M. Shapiro Medical Associates, P.C.

For most people dieting is a daunting task, a constant struggle of counting calories, extreme workouts and neglecting foods held dear. We try quick-fix gimmicks to lose pounds in a hurry. However these diet plans do not offer long-term results. The key to making a long-lasting impact on your health is to commit yourself to a holistic program that offers nutritional counseling, psychological support, exercise training and is developed with a personal approach on an individual basis for each patient. What works for one person might not work for another. Beware of programs offering injections and diet pills.


Do fill out a food diary for one week

Fill out a food diary for one week, not at the end of the day, but as you go through the day, which should include the time of day that you are eating, the degree of hunger (0 =not hungry, 4 = very hungry), and your mood just before eating, for example: bored, neutral, tense, content, happy, angry, fatigued, depressed.

Do list the eight highest calorie foods that you allow yourself to eat

After you list these foods, keep track of how often you eat them during the week. Do this for several weeks with the purpose of eating them less frequently each week. This will direct your focus to eight of your most problematic foods and with repetition, help you decrease the frequency with which you eat them.

Do follow the weight loss pyramid

Let fruits and vegetables be the foods you eat most often, most regularly and most of. Next, go for protein as often as possible. Get your protein from beans, legumes, seafood and soy products rather than meat and dairy. Next, when you’re talking grain products, choose whole grain or light versions (light bread). Then, where fats and oils are concerned, choose nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, olive oil or canola oil when possible. For sweets, stick with hard candies and fat-free frozen desserts.

Do eat when hungry

Eat when you feel hungry. If you’re not hungry for breakfast, skip it, unless you’re a child. Children should eat breakfast regularly. If you prefer eating a late dinner, feel free, and if you need a snack at midnight, it’s not a problem. Eat when you’re hungry and skip food when you’re not.

Do get food awareness training

Permanent weight loss is not a short-term effort, but the beginning of a journey during which their relationship with food will change forever. To lose weight successfully and keep it off, you have to accomplish calorie reduction without feeling deprived. Food Awareness Training (FAT) begins when you see your food choices, and are able to identify alternative foods that lower your daily calorie intake to allow you to still eat your favorite foods.


Do not weigh or measure your foods

If you weigh or measure your foods, you will become too compulsive and too rigid, which will cause you to lose interest and fail. If you choose lower calorie foods that you like in place of the higher calorie foods that you’ve been eating, you will have no problem losing weight.

Do not try to be perfect

Dieting is a journey. If you try to be perfect and slip, you will beat yourself up and most likely continue to eat off of your diet. If you accept the slip as a momentary indiscretion and continue to diet, you will eventually lose the weight you wish to lose. You don’t have to be perfect to lose weight.

Do not weigh yourself everyday

At different times from day to day, you may retain fluid from some of the foods that you’ve eaten. If you don’t take this into consideration, you will become frustrated and quit your program. As long as you are making the right choices, you’re continually losing weight.

Do not let people sabotage your diet

Friends or significant others without thinking may bring you foods that you like, or offer to take you to certain restaurants which are detrimental to your weight loss. Feel free to politely decline and stay true to your diet.

Do not make excuses not to exercise

Exercise in any form is beneficial. If you like a sport activity, do it. Any household chore will also help you burn off calories. Keep active.

Jumping cartoon

Dieting is a journey. You will have ups and downs but don’t give up. Exercise and keeping active in any form is important. Find lower calorie foods that you like. You can eat as much of the food you’re presently eating and still lose weight. There are no wrong times of the day to eat. You may eat your favorite food on occasion. Seek nutritional and psychological support if necessary.

More expert advice about Dieting

Photo Credits: Untitled by Flickr: googlisti; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Dr. Howard ShapiroNew York City Weight Loss Physician and NY Times Bestselling Author

Best-selling author of the Picture Perfect Weight Loss series, Dr. Shapiro broke the mold for weight loss with his Visual Food Comparisons and FAT (Food Awareness Training) program. Dr. Shapiro gained international acclaim for his breakthrough, ...

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