On a PBS program I heard a doctor say that to lose weight and keep it off requires a "super human effort" I agree with that and have been inspired by the comment through out my effort. They mentioned that 97% of all diet attempts fail. My own experience confirms this. So here's my take on that - four things to keep in mind if you want to beat the odds. These strategies apply no matter what diet you may want to try.

1. Sticking to a diet requires a super human effort and executing an effective exercise program also requires a super human effort. Don't start out by trying to do both at once. I really believe this is why the percentage of failed attempts is SO HIGH. I recommend that you start your exercise effort first - no diet. Eat what you normally do. Focus on the exercise first. I started by running for 2 miles 3-4 days a week. I did this for six months before I started dieting. I lost less then 5 pounds during that 6 months. But I improved my conditioning and I was totally and comfortably into a routine - one super human effort was behind me - one super human effort at a time is enough. Once I got going on the diet the weight dropped like magic. And once I reached my first plateau I was prepared to increase my exercise effort to counter this.

2. Everyone is good at something. Everyone is successful in something. Take the principles and practices that you never fail in and apply them to your diet and exercise effort. For me making my weight loss effort into a creative project made all the difference. This time the focus was on deadlines and meeting expectations as much as the weight loss itself. I'm driving a succesful creative project forward (it just happens to include getting into shape again and losing weight).

3. Be incredibly selfish. It sounds terrible - but almost everything in my life that hasn't contributed to the process or success has been set-aside. It's not mean spirited - I've just found that helping out in the kitchen (by making meals) makes me fail. If you want to lose weight it has to become your #1 priority. This may mean your spouse takes over all meal prep for the kids or dropping the kids off at the daycare so you can go to the gym early, etc.

4. Blog about what you are doing! If you need to lose weight and you're planning to start a diet and exercise program - blog about it daily. It brings a higher level of accountability and you will likely meet some really great people who will give you advice or inspire or encourage you along the way.

All images and written content are © Daniel Brevick – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unless otherwise noted.