As you can see from the chart above, a typical dieting cycle seems to begin with the frustration and frantic decision to lose weight. However, a closer and more complete observation will reveal that between “Fall off the wagon” and “decision to lose weight” there are numerous “OLD YOU” habits that resurface.

We are creatures of habit and how we think forms our habits – hence – who we are. Generally, when we reach a certain level of disgust, then and only then do we react with the proclamation of “Diet” in an attempt to reverse the habits that have formed. The stages of change are commonly known among researchers and marketers know them as well. Just because you want to change does not mean that you will. If you do not utilize a staged approach you increase your risk of returning to old habits and continuing with the cycle of weight gain – weight loss – weight gain.

Simply put, we gain weight because we either overeat, under move or both. There is no denying this and no amount of excuses or justifications can change this. My experience tells me that most people “graze themselves fat” or are “occasion gainers” meaning they eat “really great” most of the time and their occasional indulgences are too much to overcome through their (lack of) movement.

Do not fall into the mindset that you are a gross, overeating slob. This is not the case. Do not mentally demean yourself and belittle your efforts towards success. Most people gain 1 -3 lbs. per year. That is a calorie miscalculation of 10 – 30 calories average per day. The drastic, restrictive and short-term methods that many of us choose to follow when we become disgusted with our “OLD YOU” habits are a recipe for continuation of the weight gain/loss cycle. Realizing the changes that you can make and live with is essential to lifelong weight loss success. You must be able to live by the resolutions necessary to reach AND maintain your goal. Choose your changes wisely. Be proactive and base your choices upon a Vision and Reasons. The Reactive method you have repeated is a main culprit in your gradual but continual weight gain through the years.

The weight gain cycle is slow. The weight loss cycle is slower. Try not to make it more difficult by making and repeating mistakes.