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Nutrition & Dieting/Are there any healthy ways to jump-start a diet?

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Question
In the past, once I lose 10 or so pounds, I feel much more motivated. I was wondering if there is a way to drop a lot of pounds in the first week or two of the diet, but not gain it right back when I start my actual diet.

Answer
No Claire, unfortunately not! The quick, large amounts lost are mostly due to water weight. So if you stopped drinking fluids you'd lose weight fast--then end up in the hospital!

Instead of the "diet to lose weight" mindset, it would be helpful to have a different mindset... "I've decided to eat healthy for life". How does that sound?

The fact is, when people go on a diet to lose weight, they go OFF the diet once they reach their goal. Then the weight comes back on.

What if you found a healthy way to eat, lost weight slowly, and it never came back on?!
Wouldn't that be worth the slow loss for the first few weeks??

Try some of the websites or apps that help you track your calories in, calories burned, and your weekly weight (FitDay, SparkPeople, LoseIt). Sometimes looking at a graph every once in a while demonstrates how far you've come, even when you don't feel it. You might also try other techniques to demonstrate to your subconscious how much you've lost: Like filling a gallon jug with water (or picking up a gallon of milk in the store) and feeling how heavy it is. This weighs 8 pounds. If you lose 8 pounds it would be like carrying this heavy jug around all day and then putting it down all at once! Except in real life it just happens more slowly.

It might help you to keep a food diary or some other type of journal or blog. Be sure to document your successes each day. Find small, positive goals such as eating 2 vegetable servings or 2 pieces of fruit, drinking 6 glasses of water a day or going for a 2-mile walk.
In this way you can experience success that will keep you motivated, even if it isn't in the form of a number on the scale!

Good Luck, and keep me posted.
Laurie  

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD

Expertise

As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.

Experience

I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Organizations
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications
Livestrong.com, Glamour.com, Ezinearticles.com, Ehow.com, Today's Dietitian

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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