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“Tipping Point” has many meanings to many people. Marketing professionals use the term as well. Even in that field, I have seen it used in many ways, with many meanings. A few in the marketing world use it to mean what it takes to put a customer into a favorable decision. In the banking world, there have been studies to find out how much you would have to offer someone to change where they maintain their checking account. If you notice, many banks now offer $100 to change banks. They have determined that the “tipping point” to get someone to go through the hassle of setting up a new direct deposit, ordering new checks and starting a new account was a hundred bucks.

There have been studies measuring the amount of time someone will listen to the radio before they change it because they don’t hear a familiar song (18 minutes), how many times kids need to see a cereal commercial before they ask mom and dad so they can go “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs”, etc.

I started to think about all the people that talk to me about how they started a new diet, started out losing weight and then lost focus and gained the weight back. It seems that most of them say they lost about 10 pounds and then fell off the diet.

I believe the tipping point to keeping with a diet must be around 20 pounds. I lost 10 pounds in the first week. I also see many diets that advertise a “quick start”. This seems to be a bit of misdirection. I am not sure on the stats, but I think that first 10 pounds is just getting rid of the undigested food in the human body and the water it takes to process it. I have gone on vacation and gained 8-10 pounds in the first 3 days. I have also been able to lose it rapidly when I get back home. I don’t think these pounds are a real gain to my body. I am sure I pick up some of those calories, but I also drop them quickly.

My theory is that once people have lost 20 pounds, they are past the tipping point and are really losing weight. Once they get past that spot, the habit begins to form. That was the tipping point for me. When I started to lose weight, I heard from countless people that I would stop losing weight at some point. This morning, I weighed in at 239.8 pounds. I don’t think there is a level when I won’t be able to lose weight if I want to keep it going. I have passed the tipping point, and it’s just a matter of deciding where I want to end up. The number I am shooting for is now sitting at 225, but who knows? Once I get there, I will decide.

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