Ask People to Respect Your Needs

This conscious approach has another use. It helps to keep you focused on your health. Isn't that what's really important? If you can convince yourself that it is, you'll be ready to stand up for your own needs. Many people find it hard to assert, "What I need for myself is important." Women in particular-perhaps because they function so often as caregivers-have trouble saying, "My needs are essential, too."

If your spouse or significant other is giving you a hard time about your doing Atkins, that calls for self-assertion. You simply must make it clear that this nutritional approach is a need that you won't compromise. Even the most sweet-natured and unassertive people have areas in their lives in which they won't allow interference.

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