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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