Ideal weight: using a nutrition program
Achieving the ideal weight is a rather laborious and long-term task. It requires significant human effort. For everyone, there is no ideal weight. Ideal weight is a metric that helps you stay fit.
Change Yourself Program: How to Achieve Ideal Weight
All averaged indices and coefficients are average values and can serve as guidelines for achieving the ideal weight. This should be consistent with the state of health and psychological comfort.
You can only talk about the need for change when excess weight is harmful to your health. Achieving your ideal weight can be compared to renovating your home. We come to the idea of repair consciously when we see that it is impossible to continue living like this. At the same time, we understand that we will have to make some effort and spend some time. Why, when we want to change our home, do we hope to do it quickly? We often believe in unreasonable advertisements that you can lose weight in one session of hypnosis or lose 1 kg of weight per week, continuing to lead the same lifestyle and maintain your eating habits. The short duration of treatment, on the other hand, should be questionable, as well as the lack of a guarantee of stable results. The only way to firmly restore your ideal weight is through the Change Yourself program. This program is implemented as a group or as an individual. It cannot be used to correct the weight of children under 5 years of age; pregnant women and nursing mothers; people suffering from any diseases or who are on a medical diet, as well as for frail elderly people. This program is not suitable for those who are overweight associated with endocrine pathology. This list also includes people with rare genetic forms of obesity. In these cases, the intervention of endocrinologists, neuropathologists and other specialists is required, they will also help determine your ideal weight.
The Change Yourself program is suitable in cases where deviations from normal weight are associated with eating behavior and lifestyle. The core of this program is a deliberate, well-motivated approach. Only when the intention to restore the ideal weight is thought out and the person is ready for long-term laborious work associated with this process, this program will bring benefits and tangible results.
The development of personal skills includes reliable knowledge about the dangers of being overweight and underweight, about rational nutrition and the characteristics of foods, about their calorie content. It is necessary to develop skills for good nutrition and eating behavior, as well as learn to resist pressure from other people. Under the influence of others, we change our eating habits. We lack the willpower to refuse a delicious cake when everyone is praising it, and it is difficult for us to admit to ourselves that the amount of food we eat is too large. Eating disorders have dire consequences.
Stages of change on the way to ideal weight
It is possible to permanently and irrevocably restore the ideal weight only by performing the “Change Yourself” program. This program is used as a group or as an individual. Eating and lifestyle changes go through five stages of the change process.
D.O.Prohaska and S.S.Di Clemente (1994) described the sequence of stages that people go through when they decide to change their habitual behavior. On each of them, a person has a different attitude to what is happening, and the influences from the outside are very useful. Most often, this model is schematically depicted in the form of a circle.
- Before entering the circle, a person is in a stage preceding deliberation, that is, in a stage of disinterest. This is due to the fact that he does not see a problem in deviating from the ideal weight and does not assume that being overweight or underweight can cause various diseases. And it also happens in another way: a person is fully aware of the risk, but for nothing does not want to change the stereotype of his behavior. Therefore, the ability to see the problem is so important.
- Helping a professional to understand the risk of eating behavior and deviations from ideal weight can help a person move from the stage of disinterest to the stage of deliberation. At this stage, a person seems to be torn in two – he knows that he needs to change, but is still attached to a certain type of eating behavior and a habitual way of life. He is not yet ready for changes, but he is already thinking about them and may be at this stage for a long time.
- At the stage of preparing for changes, it is planned to move to action. The person begins to gradually change his behavior, trying different options. He can tell others about his intentions and at the same time make clear plans related to their implementation.
- At the stage of execution, a person radically changes his eating behavior and lifestyle. He has to expend a lot of mental strength and energy. Often during this period, a person resorts to the help of specialists and uses the advice of people who have reached the ideal weight. However, reaching your ideal weight can be temporary. A breakdown occurs, and the person returns to the stage of disinterest or deliberation. Often, after a breakdown, apathy and disbelief in the possibility of achieving an ideal weight occur. If the goal of the change is sufficiently motivated, then he can go back to the stage of deliberation. Analysis of the cause of the breakdown can bring it back into the circle of changes.
- If the breakdown did not occur again, then the stage of making changes goes into the stage of consolidation. At this stage, the temporary change takes hold and gradually becomes part of the lifestyle. The consolidation of changes is so strong that a person can get out of the circle of changes with an established way of life.
According to Prochaska and Di Clementi, any process of weight change forces a person to reconsider their self-image, lifestyle, way of thinking, attitude to their eating behavior, etc.
There are nine main factors affecting the passage of the stages associated with change in weight:
- raising awareness of the problem;
- positive impact of society;
- emotional experience;
- reassessment of values and yourself as a person;
- control of the environment;
- support from friends and family.
Increased understanding comes from gaining knowledge of the nature of their problems. Often, the motivation for change is familiarity with materials on health issues, advice from people, their stories about changes in well-being. Sometimes a conversation with a doctor or test results make you think about your health. All of this can serve as an impetus for change in the stages of disinterest and deliberation.
The positive influence of society, acting as an external force, is of great importance. For example, promoting healthy lifestyles can help a person feel addicted to a sedentary lifestyle and an abundant dinner.
Sometimes the beginning of thinking and preparing for changes is a strong emotional experience that may arise as a result of some kind of tragedy. For example, a husband reproaches his wife for being overweight and leaves her for a slender woman. The reason may also be the occurrence in a relative of a diagnosis provoked by prolonged overeating and obesity. People often report that illness or death of a relative has moved them from the stage of disinterestedness to the stage of deliberation. Sometimes a movie or play can provoke an emotional experience – this process is most often useful during the thinking and preparation stages.
The factor of re-evaluating yourself as a person is very important. Often, a person weighs all the positive and negative aspects of their eating behavior and lifestyle. During this period, he assesses the goals facing him and determines whether his lifestyle corresponds to these goals. For example, a person needs to cope with essential hypertension to prevent a stroke that killed his mother. He understands that for this, first of all, it is necessary to reduce weight, which means that his addiction to food is the habit that does not get along with his main goal. The conclusion suggests itself: eating behavior and lifestyle must be changed. More often, the process of re-evaluating oneself as a person can be used at the stages of reflection and preparation.
During the stages of preparation, implementation and consolidation of the change, the factor of commitment is extremely important. A person takes responsibility for his choice, therefore, in order to achieve his goal, he must perform certain actions. When a personal commitment is made public, social pressure is created.
The importance of rewarding yourself for implementing the plan is great. The person can praise themselves or receive praise from friends, colleagues, or relatives. Some people buy gifts for themselves with the money that they save on reducing the amount of food. Rewards are especially important at the stage of change implementation, when results are not yet visible and some kind of incentive is needed. In addition, when people go on a diet after a long period of overeating, they initially feel worse than before, which means that the reward can be at least a little consolation for them.
Replace the emotional need associated with taking pleasure in food with some kind of mood-enhancing activity. Any activity that distracts from thoughts on a dangerous topic is a substitute method. This can be relaxation therapy, listening to music, exercise. Counteraction is especially important during the execution and reinforcement stages.
Controlling the environment is essential. All kinds of temptations should be eliminated from life, so that it would be easier to behave correctly. To change his diet, he must reduce the amount of food in the house, less often buy sweets and fatty ones .. Some write reminder notes for themselves and post them in “dangerous” places at work and at home. For example, you can write: “I had lunch at 15 o’clock” or “there was already dinner” – and hang the note on the refrigerator. This can come in handy during the implementation and posting stages of a change.
The support of friends and family is very important during the implementation and consolidation stages of the change. External encouragement is necessary for those who wish to change their eating behavior. At different stages of change, different types of assistance are used, and they correlate with the characteristics of the person.
Many people use the environment as a source of reward, receiving praise as a reward for their ideal weight.
Thus, each factor influencing change is especially useful at some particular stage. Most often, processes are used by people making changes in the following way.