© 2019 by Derrick W. Spell, MD, FACP

  • Derrick W. Spell, MD FACP

It's Time to Change!

Updated: Feb 12

Over the last three blogs, we have reviewed the process of change. We have learned that change can be facilitated when you use psychology to your advantage. Using the metaphor from the book Switch, let’s summarize what we have learned thus far and how we can apply it to successful weight loss.


Direct the Riderthe rider represents our logical and rational side


Script the critical moves = vital behaviors

Vital behaviors identified by the National Weight Control Registry:

Eating breakfast daily

Regular exercise (several times per week)

Frequent self-monitoring (food journaling and frequent weights)


Follow the bright spots = doing what has helped others to succeed

Food journaling – tracking what you eat

Frequent weights – at least once weekly

Reading The Bite-Sized Guide to Getting Right-Sized


Point to the destination = think of specific reward for sticking with diet plan

Visualize being thin again – look at old pictures of yourself



Motivate the Elephantthe elephant represents our emotional and instinctive side


Find the feeling = establish a sense of urgency

Don’t wait for a medical problem or new diagnosis!

Think about your own mortality


Shrink the change = think of goals within your immediate reach

Daily goals are like “small wins”

Successful self-monitoring and food journaling

Weekly exercise goals


Grow your people = instill the growth mindset

No matter who you are, you can change!

You must be tremendously optimistic!



Shape the Path - make it easier for both the rider and the elephant


Tweak the environment = make good behaviors easier and bad behaviors harder

Lay out your exercise clothes in advance

Place home exercise equipment in a highly visible location

Use smaller plates and bowls

Bring your lunch with you to work


Build habits = build actions triggers to help make exercise habitual

Exercising every Saturday morning

Exercising on the same days either before or after work


Rally the herd = use social networking to help encourage your healthy behaviors




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