Category: Dr. Lefebre’s Motivational Letters

The Scale

February 22nd, 2010 — 8:30pm

This might come as a surprise to most of you, but the scale is the number one contributing factor for people quitting their weight control efforts. Yet the factor that leads to most failures is the single most important measurement that everyone focuses on.

I know in our office that we weigh patients weekly, but after their weigh-in I bet I spend a third of my time de-emphasizing the scale in an effort to help patients deal with their negative reaction to the scale. I have said countless times to many patients that I would have liked to have run my program without a scale and instead go by improvements in their behavior and feelings, along with improvements in their clothing (i.e. passing the “blue-jeans test”). If I would have done this back in 1988 and not had a scale, people would not have understood and most likely my program wouldn’t have gotten off the […]

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Calorie Banking For Weight Loss Maintenance

February 18th, 2010 — 10:09pm

Once patients have reached maintenance, “calorie banking” is a concept that is a very practical approach in helping them balance their food intake for life. It stems from the idea that we live in a society that is basically 5 days on and 2 days off (referring to a work or school week).

Once a patient has lost weight and wishes to go on maintenance, their caloric food intake is slowly increased to1200 calories for ladies and 1500 for men. At this time we start to talk about the calorie banking principle.

Let’s say that a female patient has lost down to 130 lbs. Her approximate caloric needs to maintain this weight would be 1700-1800 cal. If we were to increase her intake to that level, there would be no room for extras (as we all know, it is usually the extras that are responsible for weight gain). Once we outline the 1200 cal. plan […]

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Diet Saboteurs

February 13th, 2010 — 11:41am

How often have the following examples happened to you? 1) You’ve lost a lot of weight and suddenly a co-worker brings in donuts to the office. 2) Your husband brings home a box of your favorite chocolates to celebrate your weight loss. 3) Your mom bakes your favorite pie and tells you how great you look. 4) Your friend tells you not to lose any more weight because your face is looking quite gaunt. 5) A cousin, who hasn’t seen you for months, makes a big fuss over your weight loss in front of a big crowd at a party. After that you notice a drop in your motivation.

Believe it or not, the above examples are constantly taking place. Since the opening of my clinic back in 1988, I have found the area of diet sabotaging to be one of the most intriguing challenges a “dieter” has to face and a subject that caught […]

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Realistic Goals

February 13th, 2010 — 11:39am

This topic is somewhat of an overlap to previous articles (setting success goals, dimmer switch and coping with a lapse), but setting day to day realistic goals warrants its own discussion.

Humans in general and dieters in particular, tend to be perfectionists and as a result try to be perfect all the time. If they slip on their diet they feel guilty and suffer from a loss of self worth, which often sets off a negative viscous cycle of overeating.

The negative emotional response usually occurs as a result of initial goal setting. If we say that we will never slip on a diet and a slip occurs, we feel guilty which often leads to thoughts about giving up and quitting. If we expect to exercise every day and we miss one day, once again, failure thoughts occur, leading to wanting to give up exercise altogether. In addition, expectations to lose weight each week sets […]

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Toughest Challenge of One’s Life

February 13th, 2010 — 11:33am

I don’t know how many times I have heard patients say, “I wonder why I can’t get my weight under control” or “I can’t figure out why I can’t lose weight”. They then go on to say that they quit smoking, they gave up drinking and that they are successful in most other areas in their life (their marriage, family life, their careers, etc.). They are just unable to come up with the answer.

My first response is to mention that a smoker has to use the all or nothing control method- they stop smoking (you are either a smoker or a non- smoker). An alcoholic must stop drinking. However, you just can’t stop eating. We have to use other methods to control our weight (please refer to my Dimmer Switch article) and this is generally harder than the all or nothing method described above. Secondly, I will often remind them that losing weight might […]

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Triple “A” Process for Positive Change

February 13th, 2010 — 11:26am

How many times have all of us asked ourselves why we get this uncontrollable urge to eat when we get upset over something (and of course many times we give into this urge)? Numerous patients over the years have asked me the same question. There isn’t a simple answer but, when I am posed with this question I usually pull out a little slip of paper and write down three words under each other beginning with the letter “A”:

Awareness Acceptance Action

To make changes in our life, we have to go through this “AAA” process. We first have to become “aware” of why we do the things that we do. (As the saying goes, you’re half way there when you become aware of the problem). We actually begin to associate food with our emotions long before we are even aware of it. It all started as a baby when we cried and got fed. […]

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Setting Success Goals

February 6th, 2010 — 6:06pm

I believe that most overweight patients set themselves up for failure in that the only goal they have in mind is to reach their “ideal weight”. At the same time, others around them have put that expectation on them as well
(i.e. their spouse, friends, physicians, and society in general).

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