The measure of success
Knowledge is power
The combination of dramatic eating ‘tools’ and a new attitude to yo-yoing weight means that dieting can now follow an entirely new route. It’s no longer a bleak choice between either the diet-crash-diet cycle or the long slog. The Diet Groove gives you dramatic quick results and on-going weight loss.
But there’s one more thing that’s needed to harness the two. We need to keep score.
Amy Brain gets bored easily but she responds to stimulus and keeping a daily record of your weight keeps her hooked week after week. It provides a constant feed of new news, and importantly, of little rewards.
Too many people fall off their diet plan because they ‘lose heart’. The diet seems to stop working. They go for days struggling and nothing happens, so they give up. Or on the other hand, they trounce a litre of Ben and Jerry’s without any effect. And so if that didn’t make any difference then ‘sod-it, none of it makes a blind bit of difference anyway’. Ignorance is not bliss.
We use these excuses because we don’t like dieting. So to beat them we have to KNOW that our diet is working. And the only way you’ll know how well it’s working is by knowing exactly what it does to your weight, and knowing it inside out. Like a clockwork mechanism, you need to learn the exactly how you work.
Keeping track by recording your weight every day will soon build up a detailed picture of how your body responds to the diet
There’s nothing that motivates you to eat well for one more day, as much as seeing the benefit, literally, over night. And there’s nothing as effective a kick up the behind than seeing in black and white just how much you’ve gone a bit wayward.
It is this constant measurement that lets us know exactly how much we have to do to make up for the bag of chips. And it shows us exactly what we have achieved with a Fast Day.
Amy loves measuring stuff. With measurement comes the wonderful feeling of control.
Researchers have even found that gamblers seem to instinctively believe they can control their scores by changing how hard they roll the dice. Quite unconsciously they a give them a big roll for a high score and roll more gently for low numbers. The Amy Brain is anything but rational.
And the great thing is, of course, that once Amy starts to feel like she’s in control, she actually lets you take more of the lead. Measurement becomes a practical lever to exert real control over your body. Amy responds to the cold hard facts of what has to be done. And as long as it’s just for a day or two (which it is) it’s no hardship for her.
Don't torture yourself
Some people think it helps to hide a few days from the scales, especially if they suspect they’ve moved in the wrong direction. And the ‘sensible’ diets often recommend only one weigh-in a week. But these are false controls. For a start the one weigh-in is far more likely to be a red herring. Random variations, water retention, periods, and changes in metabolism will all come to bear on one highly charged swing of the needle.
And, for Amy, waiting for that one judgement every seven days is like a kind of Chinese water torture. What if you hadn’t lost weight over the week? What if you’d put a bit on? Then you’d know what despondent meant. ‘Why?’ you’d ask yourself. ‘What’s happened? Where did it all go wrong?’ Would you just give up there and then or would you hold out, with ever dwindling resolve to see what had happened after another long, painful week, just to check if it was worth pressing on? All the motivation of a slug going to the seaside.
Yes, a daily weigh-in is a warts and all process and it doesn’t pull its punches, but the directness of the feedback makes the Diet Groove work. The total data approach takes the tension away. The daily pattern fluctuates. You see the cause and effect, but the overall direction you’re going in couldn’t be clearer.
And the great thing is that it gives you real control.
You can see the impact of going off the rails. But you can see just how easy it is to get straight back on. And you reap all the rewards of leap-frogging your weight of the previous week.