Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry in this country.  Let’s face it.  Most of us would like to lose at least twenty pounds.  Many of us want to lose even more.  Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States.  Unfortunately, weight loss success remains at miserably low levels.  Sure, people can lose weight, but few can keep the weight off.

      In order to have a successful weight loss program, you do not need to help people to lose weight.  You just have to get people to try your weight loss program.  Of course, we are speaking from the perspective of the people who are trying to make money selling their weight loss regimen or system.  You simply need a gimmick and a couple of groupies, preferably with celebrity status.  We have all seen the celebrity who loses fifty pounds on a miraculous new weight loss program.  Millions of people sign up for the program and the makers of the gimmick become filthy rich.  Within a year, the celebrity regains the weight and is no longer a spokes person for the fabulous system, or the groupies disappear, never to be heard from or seen in public again.

      What Gives!  What’s going on?!  You’ve been robbed!  Again!  The scam is as old as the hills.  It is as old as the girdle, the sauna, and as old as the vibrating machine that was supposed to shake the weight right off of you.  Only, it never did, or never did for very long.  It never did because you never went through satisfaction reset.

Satisfaction Reset

         People who have lost a lot of weight and have kept it off, have learned to be satisfied with less food.   If you do not learn to be satisfied with less food, you will remain, by definition, deprived.  A deprived state is self limiting.  It is limited by how much will power you have, how much determination you have, and how much motivation you have.  Will power, determination and motivation can be formidable forces in some people, but everyone has a limited supply.  You cannot use these forces to live in a deprived state for the rest of your life.  You simply can’t!

      The moment you awaken in the morning, your conscious state determines how much food you need to be satisfied.  If you do not meet those needs, you will be deprived.  This level of satisfaction is as ingrained in your consciousness, as your self image, your basic drive for survival, your basic instincts, and your need for other self sustaining nutrients like water and air.  You are not going to change your satisfaction level overnight, and there is no diet, regimen, or pill that will change it, either.   Exercise will not change it either.   It should also be noted that many people who lose weight for an extended period of time, may have just developed new exercise habits to compensate for their high amounts of food that are needed to satisfy them. 

      Where does your satisfaction level come from?  You learn it as you are growing up.  You learn it as you are dealing with life’s challenges.  You learn it as you are trying to lose weight.  Oh yes!  Many diets and weight loss regimens leave you with a higher level of food needed to satisfy you.  This is why you rebound to gain back all of your weight and then some.

How NOT to change your Satisfaction Level

         This is how NOT to change your satisfaction level.  Note that it is not a discussion about the improper way to reset your satisfaction level.  The following techniques will NOT help you in your quest for Satisfaction Reset.  They will, in fact, increase the amount of food you need to be satisfied.

     If you go on a diet, you will lose some weight, be proud of yourself, and tell all of your friends how you did it.  Then, your motivation will give out, and you will give in to temptation, and all the foods you avoided, will taste absolutely delicious to you.  You will need more to be satisfied and the weight will pack on before you know it.  You will not be able to stop gaining weight until you are at your new satisfaction level, which will be ten, fifteen, or even twenty pounds heavier than you were before you started the diet.

     Does it matter what the diet is?  No!  Does it matter if you lose the weight quickly, or gradually?  No!  Does it matter if the diet was well balanced?  No!  We are talking satisfaction, here!  We are not talking nutrition, or weight control.  We are talking about your needs and what you need to be stratified and what you crave and how much you like to eat.  It is a personal preference, and it is what you need to be satisfied, and it just went up a notch.

      Indulge yourself in what you crave, in order to dispel of the craving once and for all.  This NEVER works.  If you crave chocolate, bread, starch, cheese, candy, dates, ice cream, fast food, or whatever, you cannot get rid of the craving by eating a lot of the food and then promising yourself to never eat it again.  Sure, you may be sick of it for a little while, but eventually (usually within a day or two) the craving will come back and it will be stronger than ever.

     Stop caring about your weight and be happy with who you are.  This causes you to only gain more weight, and can lead to a weight condition that is totally beyond your control.  Don’t stop caring.  Keep trying.  You can reset your satisfaction level.

Satisfaction Reset Strategies

         The basic strategy is to convince yourself to care less about food.   Anything you can do to convince yourself to care less about the foods you crave, is a Satisfaction Reset Strategy.  What can you do to make those cookies in the cupboard to stop calling you.  What can you do to make the McDonalds sign less of a trigger for you.  What can you do to NOT make yourself want to just chuck it all and devour gobs of food?      

      You must become brutally honest with yourself.  I’m not talking about confessing anything to anyone else but yourself.  This is no body’s business but your own.  No one else can face it but you, and no one else can help you to face it, but you.  Friends and family can be supportive and understanding, but they cannot help you to face your inner desires to eat certain foods and certain amounts of food.  Only you know what the desire is and how strong that desire is.  You have to face it, then measure it and then do battle with it.

      After personal experience, and after dealing with an eating disorder for over ten years, I am convinced that the only way to successfully do battle with your eating, is to face it by keeping a food diary.  I don’t care how you keep the diary, but the only way to truly face how much you are eating, is to write it down.  It is the process of writing it down that makes you face what you are doing.  You don’t even have to study what you write.  As you are writing, you will face what you have been trying to put out of your mind as you ate the foods, or the amounts of food, you ate.  As if by magic, you will eat less, because you are facing up to what you are doing.

      The most important times for keeping a diary are the times that you are over eating!  It is not the times when you were good, or when you stuck to your diet.  You will learn a thousand times more about how much you ate and why you ate so much, if you write that down.  Sure, go ahead and write down the times you were good.  Be proud, and feel trim.  Try to remember how good you felt when you were being good.  It will eventually help you to push yourself away from the table, or it will keep you out of the kitchen.

      Self talk is another major strategy to help you to reset your satisfaction level.  Do not tell yourself that you cannot have something.  Tell yourself that you do not need it.  Tell yourself that you don’t want it.  It is not desirable to you anymore.  You prefer to be thin.  You are a new creation.  You no longer eat like that. Imagine bread to be dry and stale. Imagine chocolate to have a bitter after taste. Quarter pounders are way too greasy and they upset your stomach. Tell yourself whatever you need to break out of your craving.  Write it down in your diary.  Record what works for you and refer back to it.

      Exercise breaks cravings.  There it is, the dreaded word, Exercise.  I’m not talking about jogging, or bicycle riding, or swimming, or playing tennis.  I’m talking about changing your scenery.  You will not break a craving by sitting there and hoping it goes away.  You must change your scenery, in order to get your mind off your craving and get it on something else.  Walk upstairs, walk outside, walk into the next room.  To be honest, the more vigorous the exercise, the more powerfully this will work.  However, a simple change in scenery will go a tremendous way towards changing what you were about to eat.

We are NOT talking Nutrition Here! 

      Please do not confuse good nutrition with achieving satisfaction reset.  Many people fail at weight loss because they try to eat perfectly in order to lose weight.  Not only are they trying to give up their favorite foods, they are trying to get used to eating all the healthy foods that they have heard about.  This is not a wise thing to do.  There will be plenty of time to concentrate on super healthy foods later.  For now, you need to reset your satisfaction level.

      So, if you are craving ice cream, is it permissible to eat ice cream as your supper?   Ah, no.  That would be against the law and the Nutrition Police will be busting in on you and arresting you for unhealthy eating.  NOT!  You are trying to reset one of your most basic needs.  It is a battle, and if you plan to win it, you had better be realistic and true to yourself.  You will not be good all the time.  You will not make a miraculous change and never be bad again.  You can, however, minimize the consequences of being bad and analyze your bad, bad, bad eating to help you to do even better next time.  Yes, yes, yes, eventually you will triumph over your cravings and the day will come when you can truly say that you used to eat a certain way, but you no longer have the desire.
      Before you can no longer have a desire, you have to go through having the desire less and less often.  That is the simple truth of the matter.  We all need to eat to survive.  You cannot get around that fact.  You also cannot get around the fact that cravings do not simply vanish.  They slowly fade away.  But, they do go away and they go away for real.  Satisfaction reset means that you are truly, I mean truly, satisfied with less.  This means that you do not want more.  There is no reason to eat more.  You do not want it.