1. Track: Journaling your food and exercise is a great strategy, but often difficult and unrealistic. Download a weight-loss app to easily track your calories and exercise throughout the day. MyFitnessPal is a good option and has a large database of foods to accurately record the amount of nutrients in your meals. Basic weight loss is really a quantity issue, and you have to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. Go slow, don’t go below 1,200 calories a day, and try to meet with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who can write up a plan for you.
2. Measure: I personally used to have trouble eyeballing a cup of cereal for breakfast, so I would leave a cup measure in the cereal box to measure out a serving. Measuring cups, spoons, and food scales can help keep your calories in check and avoid overestimating portions size by simply guessing. When starting a weight loss program, calories are important and that drizzle of dressing on your salad could easily be much more than you thought.
3. Fiber: Fiber is found in foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, and seeds. There are two types of fiber that benefit the body in different ways. Insoluble fiber helps food pass through your digestive system (keeps you regular if ya know what I mean), and soluble fibers helps eliminate fat and lower cholesterol. Both types of fiber help keep you full, so incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet to increase satiety.
4. Be Consistent: Exercising is a great way to create that calorie deficit and begin your weight loss journey. Establishing a consistent workout routine will help you as you continue your weight loss and eventually reach the maintenance phase. But in the beginning of your weight loss journey, take a cold hard look at your current schedule and responsibilities. How much exercise can you realistically commit to each week? Make a realistic plan and schedule exercise that you enjoy; maybe a dance class is what works for you, or cycling with friends seems fun. Try different forms of exercise and see what fits you best. I recommend trying not to go 2-3 consecutive days without exercising, because it can be easy to stay in a non-exercise funk if you don’t prioritize fitness for a while.
5. Love: This might be mushy, but no amount of weight loss will help you if you don’t learn to love and respect your body at every phase of the process. Think about how you talk to yourself; if you are constantly down and negative, you’re certainly not making your weight loss any easier. Focus on the parts of your body and soul that you absolutely love, think about what you want to improve, and always walk with a sense of pride and self-confidence because it’s very admirable that you are embarking on this weight loss journey.