Disease Proof

Weight-Loss Strategies: Self-monitoring & Structured Coaching

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Accept that this diet is a lifetime commitment. The individual most likely to succeed is one who has changed both his habits and mind-set. Food diaries, weekly weigh-ins, physical activity logs, and goal setting are all effective ways to stay on track. The primary purpose of self-monitoring is to become aware of behaviors and factors that either positively or negatively influence your food and activity choices. Research has consistently demonstrated that self-monitoring is a helpful tool that improves outcome.1

I suggest you make a list of goals that losing weight will help you accomplish and post it in a visible place where you will see it in your home. Add to it from time to time and check off those accomplishments as you achieve them. Make the goals very specific to you, such as the following:
  • I will be confident about my ability to resist disease.
  • I will succeed at losing pounds and regaining excellent health.
  • I will be able to fit into fashionable clothes, including my favorite blue dress.
  • My cholesterol will improve at least 50 points.
  • I will look good in a bathing suit at the pool this summer.
  • I will have more energy and be able to enjoy bike trips with my children.
  • My husband/wife/other will find me more attractive.
  • My job will be less tiring and I will perform better and make more money.
  • I will save money on health care and will be able to save for my retirement.
  • I will have a better social life and be in a position to attract John [or Jane].
  • My knees and back will stop hurting.
  • I will gain the respect of my peers.
  • My allergies, constipation, indigestion, headaches, and acne will all resolve.
  • My fears about a health crisis or death will subside.
Structured Coaching: Some individuals do better when another person tracks their results and provides encouragement. Some people maximize success with a variety of aids, including regular visits to a physician, dietitian, or psychologist. When patients see me each month, we review what has been achieved and what will be necessary to achieve the goal for the following month. Improvements in blood pressure, weight, lipid levels, liver function, and diabetic parameters are all helpful to keep people focused on achieving their goals. If you are on medication, it will be necessary to visit your physician regularly to adjust the dose and potentially discontinue those medications that you will no longer need as you lose weight. You can also ask your physician to read this book and work with you, supporting you as you earn your way back to total wellness.
1. Boutelle, K. N., and D. S. Kirschenbaum. 1998. Further support for consistent self-monitoring as a vital component of successful weight control. Obes. Res. 6: 219–24.
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