Don't Think Diet, Think Thin

Change your lifestyle, not just your diet plan.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD

America has reached a crossroad.

We've tried the quick-fix diet plans. We've tried low-fat, low-cal, low-carb -- with low satisfaction. We've jumped from Jazzercise to spinning to yoga to tai chi.

So we're back on the couch, with the remote control and Rocky Road. Our weight problem is still a big problem. We've all been there. We feel our pain.

Pull up a cushion, America. It's time to meditate, tune into your natural tendencies. Then figure out a life path -- a lifestyle -- that will keep you healthy. For guidance, WebMD contacted two health and nutrition gurus.

Meditate on Your Motivators

On this path, one size doesn't fit all. This is all about you.

"It's important to understand yourself, what motivates you, what works for you," says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and director of nutrition therapy at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. "This is not about trying to change yourself. You're just working with who you are."

Are you a patient person? Do you need instant gratification? Are you adventurous, or does familiar and stable ring true? Are you a loner or a joiner? Do decisions come easily, or is structure better? These are questions you need to ask yourself, says Moore. "Be honest with yourself. There's no right or wrong answer. There's no need to change your basic nature."

Here's a happy note: That old harbinger -- willpower -- won't be part of your new path. "If you're relying on willpower every day, then you've made an error. Willpower should be used only on special occasions. Biology will defeat willpower every time," says Lisa Sanders, MD, professor at Yale University and author of the book, The Perfect Fit Diet.