The Diet Detective: Weight Loss Tips to Get in Shape

I don't go to a lot of parties, but when I do, I find that because I'm in the "diet" business and a professor of public health, I get asked all kinds of questions about how to lose weight. So here's the advice I find myself giving most often:
 
The desire for and commitment to weight loss must come from you. Friends and family are important sources of support, but not motivation.
 
Understand that you are responsible for you—and that it's your choice to be overweight or not. When you take responsibility for this concept, it not only feels wonderful, it means you have a greater chance being able to manage your weight.

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Responsibility simply means that you respond ably to those things in life that can stop you or set you back. When you act responsibly, you figure out what went wrong, determine how you can fix it, and even incorporate the setback into a well-thought-out plan of action.

Accidents and strange things do happen, both lucky and unlucky. But you are solely responsible for how you respond and how you allow any event or person to shape you.
 
If you externalize blame, you attribute your problems to your gene pool, to another person or circumstance or event, often ignoring your own destructive behaviors. "My spouse is so critical and demanding—he makes me overeat."

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When you internalize blame (blame yourself), you're more likely to define yourself as hopeless or lost before you begin, thinking, for example, "I can't control my eating, so why try?" Either style of blaming gets in the way of taking responsibility.
 
Successful weight loss isn't possible unless you take the time to assess what's tripped you up in the past and develop strategies for dealing with those situations. You must commit to planning and organizing your weight loss.

More: Stop Dieting and Learn How to Maintain Weight 

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