Weight loss: Don’t let it destroy your life!

Practical thoughts about weight loss 

There is plenty to both like and dislike about Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guy. For me, Ramsey is a mixed bag, but I have learned some things from him over the years.

Until I understood better, I used to get annoyed by one bit of advice Ramsey would give. A caller would ask what order he should use to pay his debts off and Ramsey always said to pay the smallest off first. I thought that was stupid; purely from a financial standpoint, the debt with the highest interest rate should always be paid off first. Why would you pay off a debt with a 1% interest rate if you have another debt with a 20% interest rate?

The truth is Ramsey knew something I did not yet understand: people are not going to get out of debt unless they have the will to get out of debt, and they will not have the will to get out of debt unless they believe it is possible.

And the best way to get them to believe it is possible is to get them some wins under their belt.

In other words, Ramsey’s approach to debt is more psychological than financial. He knows that the psychology of debt reduction is more important than saving a few dollars on interest. He wants people to quickly learn that debt reduction is possible and once the wins start coming, it can actually be fun.

The same is true for weight loss. The psychology of weight loss is far more important than the specific weight loss plan you choose. 

What matters most is that you get into the game, believing you can win and probably more importantly, believing that your weight loss regimen is not going to destroy your life.

And that brings me to this week’s weight loss tip: don’t do a weight-loss regimen that is going to destroy your life. Pick a plan that you can tolerate or even enjoy.

We will talk about this next week, but make sure that your diet includes foods you love. For example, if you are addicted to ice cream, choose a diet that allows you to still have some ice cream once in a while (even if less frequently with smaller portions).

The truth is that you are not going to be successful if you try to do something that you will hate. We will talk about this more next week, but here is a little homework for those of you considering weight loss. I want you to start making two lists:

* a list of healthy foods you enjoy

* a list of unhealthy foods you eat now but can live without.

We will get into these lists next time.