Ask Dr. Joy Miller: Weight loss success

By WEEK Producer

January 9, 2013 Updated Jan 9, 2013 at 9:15 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- It is the new year and many people are setting new goals, but how do we reach them without suffering failure? That's the topic of tonight's Ask Dr Joy.  number one choice for the new year, and one of the hardest goals to achieve: losing weight.
So what are 45 million people trying to accomplish this January?

* They want to lose weight
* We spend upwards of $33 billion on weight loss and related goods according to Boston Medical Center
* But studies show that only a small minority of us succeed with our goal.

* New research shows that our brains actually overestimate our power of success and that we filter our negative options in many cases This optimistic outlook is useful for humans, but it can also set us up for failure if we do not take in account new information and re-evaluate or ignore reality
* For instance, we may perceive that we should lose five pounds a week, and while working hard on a healthy eating plan we lose 1-2 pounds per week. What happens for many Americans is our brain doesn't re-evaluate the success of losing the 1-2 pounds and senses failure and we tend to give up.

Here are some tips for creating a healthier lifestyle and the ability to stick with the weight loss program in 2013:

* Be prepared with reasonable goals. This is always my number one concept. You need to be realistic about what is possible and probable.
* Have a plan of intention vs. end point. It is just like looking at the journey vs. the destination-look at the progress you are making vs. focusing on the end line
* Have a plan to distract. When a smoker is trying to stop many people chew gum, or chew on a straw, dieters need to have a plan-carry an apple to chomp on when you have an urge to eat. Carry a bag of almonds or cashews to interrupt the habitual response
*  Look for natural alternatives. Take a walk when you are a little bit hungry, drink some water, which will be filling, or sip on some hot tea. Be prepared to care for yourself in a healthy way and 2013 will be a happier and healthier year for all of us.



People use the new year to try to improve on themselves, but sometimes we make the goal so hard we cannot achieve it.  It's our

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