Better Weight Loss if it's a Secret!Weight Loss Secret« click for printable PDF version

Anita Mills was 382 pounds when her doctor gave her two rules to lose weight:

    1. Eat healthy & don't skip meals

    2. Do not tell anyone what you're doing

After losing a whopping 242 pounds, Anita credits the second tip for her success.

By not having someone questioning what she ate or trying to get her to relax on weekends kept her focused on the goal.

Anita that having people ask "Hey, did you do something different?" was so much better than announcing "I'm on a diet" and have people watching you.

At first the "don't tell" advice seems counterintuitive. After all, Weight Watchers and others claim that their support groups are key to your success.

But experts say that telling family, friends and Facebook about your upcoming diet plans may well have a negative effect.

Dr. Jon Walz, Anita's doctor, gives all his weight loss patients the same rules. He claims that - ever since we were young children - we look for people who look like and act like us. However, when we're obese, that puts us in a circle of friends where we'd rather not be from a physical standpoint anyway.

The trouble with having many obese friends is that obesity becomes OK, along with the habits that support it. And, if we're going to break free from our weight problem, we also need to change our "obesity-oriented" habits and behaviors for a "naturally-thin" lifestyle.

The doctor was right. When Anita Mills started losing the pounds and couldn't hide her diet anymore, her more obese friends also started drifting away.

"People are mean -- people who you would normally think would be supportive. One friend told me she liked it better when I was the fat friend. That hurt," Mills said.

Dr. Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology at New York University, agrees. His research paper "When Intentions Go Public," describes how gaining praise on achieving a goal - like a diet - gives us recognition from friends and others, even before we may have finished. We then mark this as a sense of accomplishment and then start telling ourselves that "we did it" even before we are done.

"The danger is that you feel that you have already reached the goal and because of that you don't have to act on it any more," Gollwitzer says.

Gollwitzer added that it may be OK to tell a couple of very close friends - who also want to see you thin - so that they can hold you accountable and help keep focus on your ultimate goal, not just the day-to-day process.

But until you reach your goal, just sidestep the questions about your new shape and don't tell.

If you are not yet on the WeightWorks program and want to learn more about how we can help, please complete our online get-acquainted questionnaire. Enter the coupon code "ARTICLE50" and we will take 50% off the cost of an initial doctor consultation to review your situation, make suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

Click here to go to the questionnaire.

Your naturally-thin self is there, waiting to come out - but don't tell your friends!

   - - Yours in health,   The Doctors of WeightWorks

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