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Weight Loss- Steps to Start Losing Weight

September 17, 2010

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As someone who has been mildly overweight all their life, I understand the need for motivation when it comes to weight loss. It is so hard to get motivated. Most time we make excuses for not starting today or we are just lazy about actually doing it. Well if you are tired of making excuses and tired of being overweight here are some ways to pump yourself up and finally make that decision to start changing your life. Remember change is easy if you are receptive to it.


People use all sorts of things to motivate themselves. If you are ready to start changing your life for real, start by writing down your goals. How much weight do you want to lose? Set your time frame for losing the weight. It is impossible to think that you will lose all your weight in a week or even a month. Quick weigh loss usually leads to quick weight gain, which causes a yo-yo effect.


When you set your goals, be realistic. It’s unrealistic to think that you will lose as much weight as the contestants on TV shows such as “The Biggest Loser” or “Celebrity Fit Club”. They are secluded with trainers and doctors who monitor everything they do and eat. They work out 8-10 hours a day and are provided with the highest quality equipment and trainers. It is impossible for us in the real world who have jobs, families and responsibilities to workout as much as they do. Let’s not forget that in the real world we are bombarded with temptations that those contestants do not have to worry about at lease while they are on the show. Set a goal for how much weight you want to lose each week. For men a good goal is to lose 3-5 lbs per week and for women a good goal is to lose 2-4 lbs a week.


You have always heard the expression you are what you eat. It is true! Everything you put in your mouth adds to your weight. That is why it is important to start your program with nutrition. Exercise is important but you won't get to your goals just by exercising. You need to change your eating habits too. Start by setting your calories per day. If you normally take in 3000 calories per day set your calories per day to 1800. An average calorie intact per day is 1200. Calorie counting is no fun but the most effective way to watch and lose weight. When you start to realize the amount of calories in certain foods you will make smarter and more healthy decisions about what you put in your mouth.

           When you set a limit for your daily calories it is impossible to go from 4000 to 1000 calories. You are setting yourself up to fail because your limits are too low. You shouldn’t set your limit under 1200 calories a day. If you cut your calories per day too low your body will be telling you that it is constantly hungry, not to mention you will be craving the sugars and processed foods that you used to eat. Cutting your calorie intake gradually will reduce your appetite as well as decrease your weight. Take the first couple of days to get a feel for how many calories you normally take in. Then determine a suitable decrease in the amount of calories per day. As you stick to your daily calorie limits you will start to notice the weight coming off.


Track yourself by writing down everything you eat in a day. This will show you where your downfalls are. Think about what you eat before you eat it. How many calories are in this bagel, ice cream, and cheeseburger? That is not to say that you can't have that ice cream or piece of cake but make a sacrifice. If you want to have that after dinner dessert, make sure you eat properly through out the day so you don't go over calories.

Supplement your normal snack foods with fruits and vegetables. You will start to notice that natural, organic foods are lower in calories than junk food, fast food or processed foods. Not to mention that natural foods have vitamins and essential nutrients that our body needs. The sugar and carbs in fruits and vegetables are more easily digested by the body due to the fact that they are not processed or have additives.

Change your eating patterns. If you normally eat 3 large meals a day, break it up into 5-6 small snacks a day. This will boost your metabolism to continually burn calories  through out the day. The rule is to eat something every 2-3 hours. Plus you need to continually replenish your water throughout the day. The human body is made up of 60-70% water. Water is required for most of your body's functioning. So instead of drinking that soda, drink an 8 oz glass of water. You won't waste your calories on a soda, plus you won't get that sugar rush and your body will thank you by making you feel better.

One thing to remember when you are making changes to your eating habits. Always make sure you are supplementing your vitamins and minerals. A lot of our vitamins can be made in the body and usually the rest comes from our food. However, taking a good multivitamin or super food will ensure that your body is continuing to receive all its nutrients even if you don't take in enough through your food. The other requirement is to make sure that you are getting enough omega fatty acids. This will ensure proper cell reparation and cell growth.

Once you start to notice a difference in your body and you feel better, you will be more motivated to continue. Now you can start to add in your exercise. Exercise is a stress on the body but it is a good stress. It works the muscles, releases endorphins to the brain, and burns fat/calories. If you have a busy lifestyle you will need to make time. Set up a schedule and make sure you stick to it. Even if it is just walking for a 1/2 hour each day or doing 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups in the morning when you wake up. Doing something is better than nothing. Most people say they are going to do this or that and they never end up doing it. Exercise is hard at first but if you do 1/2 hour of exercise every day for 1 week you will notice a change in your energy, in your weight and how your body feels overall. Most people will like the changes they see and want to continue with it.


Remember that with exercise you need to increase time and intensity as you continue. Start off slow but be consistent. Say you walk for 1/2 hour every day for the first week. Increase it to 45 minutes the second week or add in 25 sit-ups and 25 push-ups after your walk. This is what I mean by time and intensity. As you continue to build on your exercise routine over time you will see more and more change for the better. Remember that exercise routines should include cardiovascular as well as weight or resistance training this way you  are not only burn calories and fat but keep your muscles strong.

Nutritionist and personal trainers are a great source of information when it comes to weight loss. If you have concerns about keeping track of your health goals consult one of these health professionals to assist and guide you on your journey.