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Winning the Battle of the Bulge: Successful Strategies

Let's take a look at how your attitudes and perceptions affect the results you acheive and how slight modifications can achieve mighty results.

When attacking any problem, it is always best to break it into small sections that can be approached individually. Every war is made up of many battles. Stringing together a series of battles helps to win the war. If you are dealing with personal debt, credit counselors will tell you to pay off one card or account at a time; building momentum with each little victory.

In many ways, our battle of the bulge is very similar. If you have ten, or twenty, or thirty, or one hundred pounds to lose, it is self-defeating to try to lose that amount in any given time. However, anyone can lose one pound or two. Once done, you simply repeat the steps you took to win that small (but significant) battle, and you're on your way to winning the war!

According to the Wellness Letter (published by UC Berkeley), the average American gains about two pounds each year. Well, someone at the American Dietetic Association (ADA) crunched the numbers and look what they came up with. Each pound of body weight is equivalent to 3500 calories. Dividing those 3500 calories by 365 days, each pound of body weight gain comes from an extra 19 calories per day. Now this is generalized, so don't write me letters.... just hear me out.

If you can see what 19 calories a day can do over the course of a year, imagine what decreasing your diet by 100 calories per day can do. This would equate to a five-pound weight loss (roughly) over the course of a year.

How difficult would it be to leave out 100 calories each day? Well, the folks at the ADA came up with a few -- amazingly easy -- suggestions.

-- eat water packed tuna instead of oil packed tuna

-- have one cup of cereal in the morning instead of two cups

-- put tomato slices, lettuce and pepper strips on a sandwich instead of mayo

-- substitute skim milk for whole milk (two cups is all it takes...)

-- snack on a cup of low fat yogurt and fruit instead of doughnuts or cookies

-- drink a big glass of water with green tea extract, instead of a soda

Once you see how easy it is to trim some calories away, you need only diligence and will-power to stick to it. The old saying goes "if you fail to plan, it's like planning to fail."

To win the battle of the bulge, you've got to have a battle plan. That plan will involve (your number one ingredient) CHANGE. When you undertake a challenge such as this, you need to take an assessment of your attitude.

The good folks at the ADA came up with a few questions to ask yourself:

Are you willing to make regular physical activity a part of your routine? Are you committed to making small gradual changes in your eating plan? Do you have a realistic weight-loss goal in mind? Can you control your food choices and meal preparation methods? Are you losing weight to improve your health and feel better?

If you go into this with the right plan, the right attitude, and have the ability to persevere, you can't help but achieve your goals.

If you haven't started off with a plan and the right attitude, do so now! Don't go through all of the effort it takes to ATTEMPT to lose weight and fail. Instead, make the effort and LOSE weight!

References: American Dietetic Association, The Wellness Letter

Michael Callen is the author of the Weekly Weightloss Tips Newsletter ( and the Chief Technology Officer for, an online retailer of dozens of health and wellness products such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), r+ alpha lipoic acid (R+ ALA), and Green Tea Extract.


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