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April 2, 2012

Weight Loss Strategies from the Experts

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I completed my predoctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at a wonderful institution, The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.  One of my rotations was at the MUSC Weight Management Center.  As co-leader of medically managed weight loss groups I was able to learn a lot of up-to-the-minute weight management tools from the head psychologist and dietician.

Now, these many years later, I am following MUSC's Facebook page.  In this way I get the benefit of summaries of the latest research findings in the area of weight loss presented in a pared down, easy to read format.

Today I signed up for their daily weight loss tips sent by email HERE.  You can also get these tips via text, HERE.  A few recent examples:  

Enlist the support of family and friends in your weight loss efforts; be sure to let them know exactly how they can be most helpful.

Start the day with breakfast, especially one high in fiber and moderate protein, to help control calories for the rest of the day.

It's a fact, people who read nutrition information on food labels eat less fat than people who don't.

Try to eat something every 3-4 hours to avoid hunger. You'll be less likely to overeat if you're not too hungry.

A "Light" food means that it has 50% less fat or 1/3 fewer calories than the original product Light can still be fairly high in calories or fat.

Up to the minute research can sometimes make a difference.  Back in my intern days, a registered dietician on our program team told us that daily weighing was counter-productive to weight loss. Standing on the scale once a week, we were told, was the best behavioral strategy for keeping tabs on the pounds.  However, thanks to MUSC's daily tips, I now know what is currently recommended:

Weigh and graph your weight at least once a week and preferably daily; research shows daily weighing is very useful.

Graphs you can download and print can be found HERE.

If you are one of the millions struggling to lose weight, why not sign up for these daily tips.  Like me, you may already know many of these tips, but daily reminders help keep us focused on our weight loss strategies.  Frequent reminders help us prevent the typical "drift" that occurs:  First we forget, then we relapse, then we regret.  Staying focused is one key to success of lifelong lifestyle changes in our eating and exercise patterns.

Do you have any tips to manage your weight?