Losing weight can be quite challenging. It occurs when we create a negative energy balance-meaning that the calories consumed are less than our total expended. A good place to begin any new fitness or nutritional regime would be to first speak with your medical provider. Together you can formulate a plan that makes the most sense for you individually-taking into account any physical conditions. Next you may want to consider visiting the U.S.D.A.’s ChooseMyPlate website. There you’ll find some great ideas to help you begin your weight loss journey. One of the more helpful tools I find on this site is SuperTracker, a program that allows you to create a free profile to plan meals, analyze your diet and track your physical activity.
Once you have a basic plan in place, here are a few key concepts that may be beneficial to keep in mind throughout your weight loss journey.
Consider setting up a few small incremental goals to help you stay on track and motivated. Remember that goals don’t always have to be pounds lost on a scale; but could perhaps be a smaller clothing size, waist measurement or something entirely different like improvement of a medical condition.
It’s best not to skip meals-especially breakfast. Skipped meals not only slows you’re your metabolic rate making it more difficult to lose weight but may also cause you to get very hungry- leading to overeating at your next meal.
Read Your Labels
It’s important to be aware of the nutrients in the foods we eat. This includes serving size information as well as overall calories in that serving. Nutrition labels can help us sort out the facts and make our best choices.
Dine Out Wisely
Restaurant portions are usually oversized so splitting meals with a dining companion or even ask for a to-go bag for the other half is always a good strategy. Other ideas may include asking for your dressings or sauces to be served on the side, selecting grilled entrées over fried, and swapping the higher calorie sides like French fries for things like plain baked potato or steamed veggies.
Regular physical activity will not only help you lose weight but a number of clinical studies indicate that it’s a strong predictor of long-term weight control. A good place to begin is the ACEFit website. From there you can select “Workouts and Programs” if you’re looking for an entire routine or the “Exercise Library” for a couple new moves to spice up your existing program.