HOW TO: Stop your diet saboteurs
Certain people and situations can derail the best diet and exercise intentions. But you can overcome them, says Dr. Thomas Clark, a bariatric surgeon and medical director of the Center for Weight Loss Success in Newport News, Va.
*Don't get in your own way. You're in control of your behavior. Erase the word "can't" from your self-talk: it's not that you "can't" exercise or eat right, but that you "won't." Change that.
* Be assertive with family and friends. The people you need for support often are the ones encouraging you to have a treat, celebrate or just eat one more bite. Explain your goals in a heart-to-heart talk and ask for their help.
*Don't go crazy on vacation ... Yes, you deserve to "let loose" -- but you can also have fun in moderation, taste new healthy foods, try different activities and work in exercise with walks, runs or visits to the hotel fitness center.
* ... or at parties. Focus on socializing, not eating. Eat a healthy snack in advance to curb your hunger and then have small portions of your very favorite party foods. Limit alcoholic beverages, which can be high in calories and reduce self-control. Try holding a cup of water in your dominant hand -- you'll be less likely to pick at food.
* Change your co-workers. Offices tend to celebrate often with cookies, cake or donuts. Tell co-workers you're trying to change and ask if they want to join you. If that doesn't work, avoid the break room and bring your own meals and snacks.
* Protect yourself. Identify situations that might ruin your progress and think about avoiding them until you've formed new eating habits.