Staying in Control

It's quite possible that you will slip and slide now and then as you pursue your weight-loss goals. Here's how to create a strategy for lifetime success:

  • Try to maintain the control you've won by not re-addicting yourself to foods you have stopped eating.
  • If you do slip, be realistic - no one's perfect 100 percent of the time. Above all, recover immediately; don't wait until tomorrow. One slice of pie may have limited ill effects. A late-night debauch could send you off in the wrong direction for a month.
  • If you've slipped up badly, don't tell yourself there's no use trying. Learn to live in the gray area when you're not being perfect. A mistake in eating doesn't mean you should stop taking nutritional supplements or exercising. Quite the contrary, everything good you can do for yourself makes it that much easier to get firmly back on track.
  • Be on your best behavior during Induction, the phase in which you break your bad habits and addictions and establish healthy eating patterns.
  • If you're bound and determined to cheat, do so in the least harmful way. If a piece of fruit will satisfy your craving for something sweet, it's better than a cookie or candy bar.
  • Adjust your aims to realities. If you're going on vacation and you know you won't be able to comply perfectly, don't make continued weight loss your goal. Instead, go on Lifetime Maintenance and try to hold the line on your weight and stay in control of your food choices. When you return, go back to the appropriate weight-loss phase.
  • Give yourself a cushion. If there's a special occasion on the horizon, drop down to an earlier phase of Atkins a few weeks before the event.
  • Learn from your experience. If you slip up and go off the plan, ask yourself why. Did you give yourself permission? How did you think you would feel after? How did you feel? How should you deal with a similar situation in the future?
  • If the Atkins Nutritional Approach works for you, don't let other people vote on your health. It's your life, not theirs.
  • What if you've muffed it and you have to start over? Don't be embarrassed! Don't let those naysayers say, "I told you so." Just pick yourself up and start over again with Induction. And at the same time, you should ask yourself a series of soul-searching questions about what happened. This is especially true if you're a person for whom overeating and being out of control have been ongoing problems. Think about the situations and circumstances that led to the problem and creatively change your life to avoid them in the future. Try to teach yourself new ways of responding to the challenges.
  • Nearly everyone can succeed doing Atkins. Believe in the immense power of human adaptability. Do a conscious appraisal of why you've chosen Atkins, and then adapt with all the willpower and energy you possess.