When my roommate, Alex reported to me about his intention to lose some weight, I got all excited. I had always worried about his weight, so I had to play my part in helping him achieve his desired result. Since weight loss requires a lot of dedication and motivation, I thought about operant conditioning as the best option.
In operant conditioning, one’s behaviour is determined or adjusted by its consequences. Positive responses are encouraged by rewarding while negative ones are discouraged by punishment. Alex and I have agreed that the target will be for him to lose at least two pounds every week for the next one month.
So I sat down and came up with a program that will involve seven major ways.
- Eating only food that is low in carb- This is considered by many to be the most operative way to lose weight. Avoiding food that is high in carb such as bread, rice, sugar, etc. is easy to manage since you don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight; just eat right.
- Eating only when you need to- Don’t starve yourself. When the body systems need intake, respect the demand. But do not make the mistake of eating by impulse.
- Eating natural food- Many people have been swindled by companies claiming to sell low carb products yet the products are the opposite that. The best low carb food is natural foods like fish, vegetables, meat, eggs, fruits, etc.
- No beer- I am not really sure how I will convince Alex to stop drinking; he loves his beer. Nonetheless, he will have to respect my instructions if he is serious about losing weight
- Ensuring less stress and more rest- I think Alex should start his weight loss program long before the exams so as to get enough sleep and peace of mind; not worrying about exams and studying for long hours while sleeping less.
- Measuring his progress- I won’t make the mistake many people make, of measuring only the weight. I know how discouraging that can be sometimes. I will also measure other forms of progress like loss of belly fat and attainment of a slimmer waist. Measurement will be once a week.
- Motivation- For every positive progress, Alex will get a weekend treat to a swimming and spa club of his choice and I will foot the bill. On the other hand, for every negative result, Alex will have to give me the same treat.