Back to Basics, Weight Loss Tips

I was recently asked by Everyday Food Magazine to write about the “Tried and True” weight loss tips; no gimmicks, no fads, only the basics!   In other words, what really works when it comes to shedding pounds?  It seems like such a simple question, right? Yet with the weight loss industry being a billion dollar business and fad diets a never-ending trend, the answer seems elusive. But, as a professional nutritionist specializing in weight loss, I can say, with absolute certainty, that when it comes to long-term weight loss success, the basics are what matters. There are NO miracle diets, pills, surgeries, etc.  Losing weight is about building healthy habits and this takes time.

Here are my four back to basics weight loss tips, to help you reach your weight loss goals.

1.    Determine your reason for weight loss.  What is your reason for wanting to lose weight?  The more meaningful and important the reason, the more it will help you adhere to your weight loss goals. Do you want to live longer? Avoid type 2 diabetes or heart disease? Have fewer medical bills? Or do you want to keep up with your children or grandchildren? Whatever the reason, write it down and keep it with you at all times.  On those occasions when you are tempted to get second-servings or have that rich guilt-filled dessert, re-read your reasons.

2.    Decrease your portion sizes.  There are no short cuts; if you want to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories.  To help you do that, keep track of what you eat, whether it is with an App or pencil and paper. What’s important is that you keep a daily tally of what and how much you eat.  The more honest and accurate you are with your records, the more successful you will be in attaining your weight loss goals.  See available apps here.

3.    Exercise more.  Find an exercise you enjoy and make it a habit.  Studies show that people who exercise loose more weight and are more successful at maintaining their weight loss efforts than those who don’t exercise.  An added bonus is that exercise helps reduce blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, increases lean muscle mass, improves sleep and is a great stress reducer, to name just a few.  Everything counts; if you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, start with 10 minutes.
On days when you just don’t feel like exercising, “fake it until you make it”.  You are not always going to jump into your workout clothes feeling ecstatic, but once you’re done working out, you will feel accomplished and glad you did.

4.    Weigh yourself regularly. The numbers on the scale can tell you if what you’re doing is working for you or if you need to make changes.  It’s important to see the scale simply as a weight loss tool, which can help guide your eating habits.  It can be a great motivator when you lose weight, but it can also help determine if your diet and/or exercise habits need to be adjusted. If the scale goes up, try not to give in to negative thoughts or feelings. Simply think about what you could do differently for the scale to go down the next time you get on.


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