Healthier Lifestyle? Start with Healthier Attitude (cont.)

3. Look in the mirror -- and like what you see. "One of the big things that helped me was when I went into the bathroom every morning, I would look in the mirror and give myself pep talks, whether they were in my head or out loud," says Wicks. "I would tell myself, 'Hi, beautiful!' It sounds silly, but it really helped make me feel better and give my attitude a jump-start in the morning to get my day started right."

4. Keep up with your journal. You already know that keeping track of your food intake and physical activity can help set you on the road to healthier habits. But you can also use your journal to help you adopt a healthier attitude. Use the "Notes" section of your journal to keep track of the ups and downs of how you're feeling.

"Consider ways to learn from the valleys in order to achieve more peaks," says Moores.

5. Learn from others. "Find others who have been successful," says Moores. "Talk with them about the pitfalls and how they mustered the willpower to carry on." You can find such role models on the Weight Loss Clinic's community message boards. Visit The New You: Maintenance board to talk to people who have met their weight loss goals.

6. Bring in the cavalry. "Meet with a dietitian when the going gets tough," says Moores. "Bring in the cavalry to help get you over the hump." WebMD Weight Loss Clinic dietitian Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is always just an email away on our Ask the Dietitian board.

7. When faced with temptation, take a break. "Give yourself a break so your attitude can take hold in those tempting moments," says Wansink. "If you're out with your friends and they just ordered fried mozzarella sticks -- something very tempting -- it's your attitude that keeps you from saying, 'What the heck?'

"So give yourself a break. Put a physical, distracting distance between you and the food -- go to the bathroom, put on lipstick -- anything that gives you time to grab on to that attitude."

8. Never, never give up. "Adopting a whole new attitude is not something that goes away," says Wicks. "With losing weight, once you lose it, that's not the end, you can easily gain it back plus more. So you always have to keep your attitude and your braveness."

Originally published August 14, 2004
Medically updated July 26, 2005.

SOURCES: Susan Moores, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association, St. Paul, Minn. Brian Wansink, PhD, consumer psychologist; marketing and nutritional science professor; director, Food and Brand Lab, University of Illinois. Elaine Wicks, Canastota, N.Y.

©2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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