Getting Started with Weight Loss in the New Year 6 January 2015

First, take a big breath and then exhale slowly. You CAN lose weight. I don’t care if you have lost and regained weight a hundred times before, you can lose weight and keep it off this year. The most important factor in reaching your goal is to stick with a realistic plan. Giving up is the surest way to fail. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Realistic target weight. Start with losing 7% of your starting body weight (0.07 x body weight) – this is the amount of weight loss that is associated with reducing risk of diabetes. Once you reach that milestone, set another weight loss goal that is just as modest.

2. Consume fewer calories. Follow an eating plan that allows you to consume fewer calories without feeling excessively hungry.

  • Eat enough protein. Most plans that work well are generous in protein – aim for at least 60 grams protein daily. You can divvy that up by consuming 20 grams protein per meal. Add 7-14 grams protein per snack as needed. Unless your medical condition condition requires protein restriction, you can aim for 60-100 grams protein daily to help prevent hunger while trying to lose weight. View your food log to see how much protein you are consuming at meals and snacks.
  • Eat enough vegetables and fruit. Go for A LOT more non-starchy veggies and aim for 2-3 small/medium fresh fruits daily. These are high in water, low in calories, and provide fiber. All of these characteristics help one feel fuller on fewer calories.

3. Move more. I don’t care if you call it exercise or activity, but figure out a way to move your body more often, every day, within the limits of your physical abilities. Being physically active will help burn calories, preserve muscle mass, keep the weight off long term, and for many, tame an overactive appetite. If you “hate to exercise” – then don’t. Just figure out how to move your body more often during the day. Consider wearing a device that tracks steps and eventually aim to reach an average of 10,000 steps daily. You can do that with or without “exercise.”

4. Make time for health. If you value everything else in your life more than your health, then you are unlikely to meet your health goals. It is as simple as that. If you value your health, then make time for the activities that support your health (healthier eating, shopping, activity, stress management, etc). Schedule these activities and don’t “no show” yourself. If you use money as an excuse for not making time for health, then consider that in the long run, being healthier is better for your financial health if you consider health care costs, work productivity, and work longevity.

5. Calories-free stress management. So many of us eat and drink to create a mental state that allows us to get through the day or fall asleep. If you are soothing yourself with calories (including alcohol), challenge yourself to do something else to calm down. And ultimately, what can you do to improve your life so that you are not so stressed out? Is it time to work on a difficult relationship, change jobs, or perhaps see a therapist?

Be sure to read “Basic Tips for Losing Weight” at MyNetDiary, published April 15, 2014. This post is full of tips and great links for the newcomer to tracking or just new to MyNetDiary. Enjoy!

Katherine Isacks, MPS, RD, CDE
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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


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