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Lifestyle Education Series Behavior Modification Solving Problems:. Plateaus & Problems in Weight Management . February 2011. Objectives. Identify & define what a “problem” and “plateau” is. Identify how to break down behaviors that are causing weight loss plateaus or problems.

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Lifestyle education series behavior modification solving problems l.jpg

Lifestyle Education SeriesBehavior ModificationSolving Problems:

Plateaus & Problems in

Weight Management

February 2011


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Objectives

  • Identify & define what a “problem” and “plateau” is.

  • Identify how to break down behaviors that are causing weight loss plateaus or problems.

  • Learn how to use specific methods to help you break a plateau or solve a problem.

  • Learn how to change “HABITS.”


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Everyone hits a plateau or has problems with weight loss at some point along their journey. It is how a person handles the plateau or problem that will decide if they are successful at weight loss. If you use plateaus and problems as learning experiences, then you can grow as an individual. It will help you to be successful with long-term weight loss.


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What is a Problem? some point along their journey. It is how a person handles the plateau or problem that will decide if they are successful at weight loss. If you use plateaus and problems as learning experiences, then you can grow as an individual. It will help you to be successful with long-term weight loss.

  • A problem is a situation that you have no answer to at the present time.

  • Often, problems cause a person to feel stressed or feel like he/she is “out” of their comfort zone.


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What is a Plateau? some point along their journey. It is how a person handles the plateau or problem that will decide if they are successful at weight loss. If you use plateaus and problems as learning experiences, then you can grow as an individual. It will help you to be successful with long-term weight loss.

A plateau is when you start to level-off with weight loss, or there is a long period of time with no weight loss.

For example, the previous two months you have loss about 1 ½ pounds per week. This month, you have lost only a half pound and the month is half over.

You have hit a plateau and it is time to figure out what is causing the plateau.


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Part of learning how to solve problems is learning to recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

There are things or habits you can identify to help you recognize the plateau or problem.

For example, you have not been packing your lunch and eating lunch out. You realize you have gained 5 lbs. You identify the “lack of planning” as the problem to your weight gain. Now that you are aware of the problem you can work on it.


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Things to do to recognize the plateau or problem recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

Monitor your eating and exercise carefully.

JOURNAL… Write down what you are eating and how much exercise you are doing.

Compare your journals to previous weeks when you were losing weight.

Try to find out the cause of the plateau: look for changes in eating, exercise, schedules, unexpected life events, or other stressors.

Talk with someone who is supportive of your weight loss and ask them if they have noticed any changes in your habits.


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What is Problem Solving? recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Problem solving is a process that allows a person to explore and identify a large list of possible answers to the plateau or problem.


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What is Personal Problem Solving? recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Personal problem solving is when a person works on his or her problems, and looks at it as an individual thing.

  • When a person takes ownership or responsibility for his or her problem.

  • Personal problem solving can help a person develop successful strategies for managing weight, eating, and activity.


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Thoughts to Ponder recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Making changes in eating & activity habits is never easily done.

  • The treatment or answer to the plateau or problem is not the same for everyone.

  • Problem solving is a learned skill and can be used in other areas of your life.

  • Problems are normal and part of daily life.


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More Thoughts to Ponder recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • You can cope with your problems and the emotions related to them.

  • You have to be willing to assume responsibility for making changes your behaviors.

  • You will have to learn to handle problems as they occur and avoid acting impulsively.


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More Thoughts to Ponder recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

Success is learned through trial and error.

Evaluating how well your answer to the problem is working is an important part of problem solving.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Defining the problem

    • Write down what the problem is. Put it in black and white. We often minimize problems, and writing it down makes it more realistic.

    • Write down “where you are” and “where you want to be”.

      • For example, My current weight is 250 pounds and I want to weigh 190 pounds.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

(Defining the Problem, Continued)

  • Make a list of how you feel and your emotions about the problem.

    • For example, I feel like a failure because I have gained weight. It makes me feel depressed and I don’t want to do things I used to do.

  • Make a list of the barriers you have around the habit you want to change.

    • For example, I do not plan meals and usually end up eating on the go, are barriers to losing weight.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Create a List of All Possible Answers

    • Brainstorm all of the possible answers to the problem or plateau.

    • Make a list. Write down any answers that come to mind.

    • Think outside the box. Think of all kinds of answers. Don’t list just the ones you are comfortable with. You might find that the best answer is one you never thought would work.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Review Your List of Answers

    • This is a time to explore all of the answers you listed while brainstorming.

    • Make a list of the pros and cons of each answer. This will help you think about how you will apply the answer in “real” life.

    • Combine and adjust the list to determine what will work best for you.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Making the Decision

    • Think about how you can do the answer to the problem. Picture yourself carrying it out in real life.

    • You can listen to other people’s opinions, but the FINAL decision is yours to make.

    • You can include other people in the plan to support you, but don’t depend on them for your success or failure.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Putting Your Decision into Practice

    • Identify how you are going to put your answer into action.

    • Make a list of people who support you and things you can do if you start losing your motivation.

    • Write down your goals. Start by writing your long-term goals, then break them into short-term goals.

      • For example, my long-term goal is to lose 60 pounds in one year. My short-term goal is to lose 5 pounds per month.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

(Putting Your Decision into Practice, Continued)

  • Make of list of ways to reward yourself without food. For example, when I lose 20 pounds I will buy a new pair of sneakers.

  • Set realistic timelines for achieving your goals. For example, losing 30 pounds in a month is not a realistic goal. Losing 10 pounds in a month is.


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Reviewing How Successful Your Answer to the Problem Is

    • Realize that you will need time and practice to make adjustments and form new habits. Most people do not like change and find it hard to change. Taking things slowly and in small steps will help

    • At some time we all “slip up.” It’s okay. Take the opportunity to evaluate what occurred and what caused the “slip up.”


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Steps to Problem Solving recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

(Reviewing How Successful Your Answer to the Problem Is, Continued)

  • Whether or not the answer to the problem has worked, recognize what you learned during the process.

  • Remember… you can learn something from trial and error. Think about the habit. Think about what you are doing… what is working and what is not.


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Negotiating recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Unfortunately, you cannot control everything, every time. At some point in your journey you will have to negotiate with others.

  • Negotiation is talking with someone about the situation. During this time each person is able to express his or her opinion, and together come to a decision.

    • For example, Your husband wants to go to dinner at the all-you-can eat buffet, but you trying to lose weight and do not want to go. You want to spend time with your husband, but don’t want it to be centered around food. Together you discuss the situation and decide to eat at a restaurant where you can find healthy options and order by the plate.


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Strategies for Negotiating recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • Use “I” statements.

    • For example, I feel angry when you want to eat at the buffet because you know I am trying to lose weight, and I feel like you are doing it so that I am not successful.

  • “I” statements help express your feelings and avoid “finger-pointing” at the other person. “I” statements also allow you to tell the other person how your needs are not being met.

  • Give suggestions to the other person about how you can help the situation. Also ask the other person for suggestions.


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Strategies for Negotiating recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

Listen to what the other person is saying and then use paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is when you tell the person what you heard them say in your own words.

Do not complain to the other person. Often other people stop listening when you start to complain.

Remember, you do not have to win every time!


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When You Cannot Negotiate recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

  • There are times you may not be able to negotiate. Here are some things you could change to help you succeed:

    • You might need to change the environment. For example, you could go to another room in the house to separate yourself from the food.

    • You might have to adapt to the situation. For example, you have to go to a dinner for work. You know there will be multiple courses to the meal. You make a plan to “adapt” to the situation. You plan to have a salad and entrée skipping the appetizer and dessert.


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When You Cannot Negotiate recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

Identify how you can meet your needs without support of other people. For example, your husband insists on going to the buffet. You want to spend time together so you decide to go. You make a plan to sit on the opposite end of the restaurant as the dessert bar and have a salad, meat, and veggies.

Let others experience the consequences of his or her behavior. For example, your husband wants to eat at the buffet and you stay home. The natural consequence of his behavior is that he does not get to spend time with his wife.


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Changing recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau. HABITS


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H recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

H- hassled, harried, and unhappy?

  • Recognize what you are dissatisfied with and associate it with a need to change

  • Look beyond your feelings of dissatisfaction and look to the causes of these feelings

  • Determine “where you are” and “where you want to be”


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A recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

A- analyze emotions,

attitudes, and environments

  • Identify emotional factors that trigger and reinforce behavior patterns

  • Explore the opposing emotions surrounding the question, “To change or stay the same?”

  • Examine the routines, the places, and the people you associate with to better understand your current habits


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B recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

B- break down barriers

and brainstorm solutions

  • List all possible solutions for your problem- be creative

  • Don’t prejudge any ideas

  • Anticipate the positive and negative outcomes of each solution

  • Choose the best solution- there is not perfect solution


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I recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

I- involve others and

identify a plan

  • Develop a network of support through family and friends

  • Don’t depend on others for your success, or blame them for your failures

  • Organize your plan into a series of action steps or “mini-goals” that can be easily achieved

  • Before acting on the plan, carefully evaluate it to be sure it’s reasonable and realistic


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T recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

T- trail and error, try again

  • No plan is fool-proof

  • Start your plan with enthusiasm, but expect setbacks

  • Old habits do not slip away easily, you must PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

  • When you make an error, evaluate what went wrong and learn from your mistakes

  • Try again and don’t give up


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S recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

S- small steps build success

  • Believe in yourself

  • Believe in your goals

  • Consider every step that you make to be forward movement

  • Remember that the first step is the hardest


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It all comes down to: recognize when you are about to, or have already, hit a plateau.

Personal

Accountability