You’re trying to lose weight, maybe for the third time. Or maybe it’s the 30th.

But you really want it to be the last time. You’d love to finally put the kibosh on this post-menopausal weight gain once and for all!

You’ve been down this road before. Started a diet of some kind with the hope that this will finally be the secret sauce you need to reach your goal. You’re all gung-ho at first. You stay on track for a few days or maybe even a week or two, but then your resolve wanes and suddenly you’re back to eating the way you did that caused you to gain weight in the first place.

How do you stay motivated? How do you get off what I call the diet hamster wheel? Here are a few dos and don’ts for losing weight without dieting after 50.

A Non-Diet Approach for Staying on Track

I help women lose weight without dieting. I teach them how to stop emotional eating so they can enjoy the foods they love while permanently losing their desire to overeat. In keeping with that non-diet approach – while losing excess weight – here are some dos and don’ts for staying on track.

The Five DOs

DO have a very clear and compelling reason for wanting to lose weight. That will drive your commitment and motivate you. Know why you want to do lose weight, and think about the reason at least once a day, preferably several times.

DO think about what the slimmer you will be like and start being that person now. Why put off living your life until you lose weight? What we think, we become! So, start thinking, acting and living like the slim person you will become. You deserve to live your best life regardless of size.

DO measure your success by markers other than the scale. Permanent weight loss is slow and not always steady, especially as we get older. It requires patience and tenacity, and development of new mental habits. Relying on the scale can be discouraging. Focusing on your success at changing the habits will allow you to lose weight and keep it off. Celebrate these accomplishments. For example, if one of the times you overeat is by snacking after dinner, each night that you don’t do that is a win. Enjoy the process!

DO think about how great you feel when you don’t overeat. Don’t you just love that wonderful light feeling of stopping before you’re too full? Not having indigestion? That great feeling of keeping your commitment to yourself to improve your health and not overeat? When you’re tempted to keep eating after your body has had enough, remember these feelings and decide that overeating just isn’t worth feeling terrible afterwards.

DO focus on the joy of being slimmer compared with the immediate pleasure of eating when you aren’t hungry. When we impulsively wolf down that candy bar, we’re sacrificing the long-term joy of being a healthy weight for the gone-in-a-moment pleasure of the taste in our mouth. Choose long-term joy.

And Five DON’Ts

DON’T diet! You’ve heard it a million times. Diets don’t work. At least 95% of people who go on a diet gain the weight back and more! Focus on making permanent changes to your eating habits that will allow you to enjoy food without overeating. To learn more about how we can work together to do that, visit my website or join my free Facebook group, Ditch the Diet Tribe.

DON’T put any food off limits. When something becomes the proverbial forbidden fruit, you’ll want it that much more, which could cause you to binge. It is much better to allow yourself to eat a reasonable serving of your favorite foods mindfully so that you really enjoy them and don’t crave them.

DON’T post photos of buff Hollywood stars in bikinis to motivate you. Hopefully if you’re reading this, you aren’t trying to look like Beyoncé, but posting photos on your fridge or anywhere else of women with photoshopped bodies who do crazy things to stay slim will not help your cause. In fact, there’s research to support that this does not work and has a negative effect on your motivation to lose weight.

DON’T focus on your past weight loss failures. If you believe you will fail this time, you will surely prove yourself right. Instead, drop those old beliefs. Have a positive outlook for the future. Diets caused you to fail in the past, but this time, you’re approaching weight loss differently, so believe you will succeed and you likely will!

DON’T berate yourself when you slip up. We all make mistakes because we’re human. The weight loss path is a winding one. The only way you can fail is by quitting, and slow and steady wins the race. When you overeat, all you need to do is forgive yourself and get back on track by waiting until you’re hungry before eating again.

What advice would you give to a friend who, for health reasons, is trying to lose weight? Which of the DOs have you found most helpful? How have you defined success for yourself? Please share in the comments.

 Shari BroderShari Broder works with foodies who want to be a healthy weight. She teaches them how to enjoy the foods they love while ending their desire to overeat so they lose weight and keep it off. She is a life coach, attorney, arbitrator and mediator. You can check out her website here.

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