6 Dietitian-approved tips to start losing weight and improve your health

  • 3 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

You know the benefits of losing weight, but it is that first step and where to start that often keeps us from taking action at all. These expert tips will provide a solid foundation to start losing weight and improving your health today.

Start losing weight

1. Start losing weight by determining a healthy target weight

Why are you losing weight, and how much do you need to lose? Consider these questions before you start. If a serious health issue requires weight loss, then knowing that losing weight will lower your health risk is wise. For most people, losing 10% of their starting body weight is enough to see significant health improvements.

For instance, if you weigh 300 pounds, a 10% weight loss results in a 30-pound reduction to 270 pounds. Even if you do not lose additional weight, keeping that 30 pounds off will positively affect your health.

If you are already at a healthy body weight, ask yourself why you think you should lose weight in the first place. Perhaps a well-designed training program better meets your desire for a stronger, toned body. If you struggle with poor body image, then consider therapy or counseling as a key support system; these resources can help.

2. Set a reasonable weight-loss timeline

When you decide to drop weight, it can be tempting to find ways to lose it fast! Yet faster weight loss may result in a greater loss of muscle and reduced overall fat loss, at least initially.

Often, losing weight too quickly requires a significant caloric deficit, which can be more challenging to sustain. The dietitians at MyNetDiary suggest striving for a reasonable weight-loss rate of 0.5-2.0 pounds per week. Entering this information, along with your starting weight, height, age, and gender, gives you a calorie target and timeline to reach your goal. This article addresses additional considerations for determining a healthy weight-loss goal and rate of loss.

3. Make time for weight loss

It takes time and commitment to lose weight. To consume fewer calories, you have to learn how to do that without hurting yourself, without having to eat foods you dislike, and, importantly, without being too hungry. Also, building more physical activity into your week takes time. This might translate into less time for other activities.

Many people find scheduling activities in their calendar helpful - e.g., for shopping, food prep, finding healthier dining out choices, walking around the block, or going to the gym. Planning time to exercise by looking ahead and building exercise into your schedule increases the likelihood you’ll follow through instead of simply hoping you’ll get to the gym but never mapping out the logistics.

4. Find an eating plan that works for you

MyNetDiary knows that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to losing weight, keeping it off, and improving health. That's why we’ve created eight Premium diet plans to support weight loss and healthy living.

MyNetDiary Premium diet plans ensure that setting your targets and tracking progress is quick and straightforward. Each easily customizable plan meets your unique needs, includes dietitian-approved recipes, and shares tailored tips to keep up your momentum. This article helps you sort through the different factors to consider when choosing a plan. If you find the plan doesn’t feel right to you, no worries. MyNetDiary makes it easy to switch plans.

5. Start losing weight by tracking your food and exercise

Track your food

Tracking what you eat, when, and how much on a mobile app supports weight loss in several ways. Tracking helps you learn where your calories and nutrients come from, your calorie requirement for weight loss (or maintenance), and how your food and beverage choices affect calories and nutrients. Want to set yourself up for tracking success? Then check out these expert tracking tips.

Track your exercise

Track your exercise to discover what really helps you burn calories. If you wear a fitness tracker, you might be surprised to learn that being busy or shopping does not necessarily mean you rack up many steps or calories burned. Or, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that vacuuming the whole house or doing yard work actually burns a fair amount of calories.

Pro tip:

If you plan to track exercise, leave your activity level set to “sedentary” to avoid overestimating total calories burned.

Online support for weight loss

Receiving support and encouragement can help you start losing weight by helping you stay positive and maintain momentum when the scale doesn’t reflect your hard work. Online support can fill those gaps if you lack support from friends and family.

MyNetDiary offers online support through our Community feature. Community is a safe place for adults to share successes, offer encouragement, share before and after photos, or ask for advice.

To access Community, tap on your dashboard's "Community" tab.

In addition to the general forum, MyNetDiary offers the ability to create or join groups. Tap on the "Groups" tab, just right of the Home section.

Looking for an expert opinion on a nutrition or weight loss topic? Post your question under the "Ask RD" section.

6. Do not give up

The most important thing is to not give up. You might start a program and find that it does not work well for you. This doesn't mean you cannot lose weight. It simply means you need to try something else to lose weight. You might have to experiment to find a plan that works for you.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, reach out to your primary care provider to discuss tools to complement your tracking efforts, such as in-person support groups or programs, one-on-one sessions with a registered dietitian, or possibly weight-loss medications. You’ve got this!

Related content

What are your weight-loss habits? These tiny daily habits can make a huge impact on your success

How to track food intake and exercise for long-term success

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Adapted from original content by Kathy Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES.

Weight Loss->Behavior Weight Loss->Weight Loss Tips & Quips
Mar 11, 2024
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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