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Life After 50
Engaging the 50 plus age group including boomers, seniors and elderly seniors.

THE BEST INGREDIENT FOR DIET SUCCESS: MANAGEMENT!

Aug 5, 2013, 3:01 p.m.

By Alan Aronoff

Food plays an important role in our lives. For many of us it is more than a means of sustenance. For some, it is a source of great pleasure; for others, a source of painful consequences; and for some it is both.

If you are like me, you know that on the one hand, you cannot eat anything, anytime, without unwanted consequences. On the other hand, you know that you will not permanently refrain from eating something you consider unhealthy. In an effort to satisfy our conflicting desires, we attempt to balance our choices; sometimes we will eat healthily and sometimes we will eat whatever we want. While this approach makes sense to us, it hasn’t worked. Rather than eating a balanced diet, we vacillate too often between the extremes. Physically, we haven’t achieved the weight, health, or energy that we want. Mentally and emotionally, we don’t feel in control of what we eat and frequently debate our choices. We are not clear on what we want to achieve with our diet, how we will achieve it, and why our attempts to follow a diet often fail.

As we struggle with our diet, what we have not understood for far too long is that we have attempted to control what we eat by following two flawed strategies:

We believe that our diet is all about the food. We think, “If I can only find the right diet, I will achieve my goals.” In reality, while our food choices are a critical component of our diet, it is our relationship with our food that needs work in order to sustain a dietary change.

We wait until we are hungry and then debate our food choices. Hunger can be a very powerful opponent. Unless we prepare mentally and emotionally for the temptation of our comfort-driven eating habits, we will often lose this battle.

The Solution - A Diet Management System

A Diet Management System does not tell us what we should eat. Rather, it is a tool that we can call on monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly if necessary. It will help us more often make choices that lead to the results we want, and less often, make choices based solely on instant gratification. As we practice eating differently, our desire for less healthy foods should diminish as new eating habits are created.

How Does a Diet Management System Work?

If we want to remember our appointments or tasks, we may use a calendar, to-do list, daily planner, or some other type of organizing system. A Diet Management System can work in a similar way. For some people, a method of reminding themselves to follow their diet, plan their meals, and go food shopping may be all that is necessary to change how they eat. For others, a Diet Management System can help alter the thoughts, feelings, or emotions behind undesirable food choices.

To get a better understanding of how your thoughts, feelings, and emotions may influence what you eat, the next time you face a food choice, stop for a moment to ask yourself:

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