Tips For Weight Loss Success

January 20, 2023

For many of us, at the beginning of each year, we set new year resolutions or goals for ourselves.  Are you among the 37% of Americans that has a goal to lose weight this year?  Would you like some tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals?

First, consult your physician prior to starting a diet or exercise program.  There are many weight loss programs available that actually help you with your weight loss journey.  However, to truly be successful you may want to choose a program that allows you to make permanent changes that you can stick with.  It also helps to think about your newly found healthy habits to be more of a lifestyle rather than a diet.

Do you feel confident that you are ready to make this commitment?

In order to achieve long-term weight loss you will need to be committed.  It takes time and effort.  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure you are ready.

  • Do I feel motivated to lose weight?
  • Do I use food to cope with stress?
  • Am I willing to learn or use new strategies to cope with stress?
  • Will I need support from family, friends, or professionals to help me manage stress?
  • Am I ready to change my eating habits?
  • Am I feeling motivated to improve my activity habits?
  • Am I ready to devote my time to make the changes needed to reach my goals?

Define your inner motivation.

The motivation needs to come from you, not anyone else.  Do it for yourself.  Define why you want to lose weight or what is motivating you to lose weight.  Be sure to document your motivation. For example, you can say I want to lose weight for my upcoming cruise, reunion, or to feel better and be healthier.  Whatever your reasoning is right it down.  

Journaling will help you stick to your plan.  Also, it is a good idea to find a support group to help keep you accountable.  You may want encouragement along the way.  Stay away from anyone you think will sabotage your efforts.

If you choose to keep your weight-loss plans private, be accountable to yourself.  Make sure you are doing regular weigh-ins, and track your food and exercise progress in a journal. There are various apps to choose from if you prefer to go the digital route.

Make sure your goals are realistic.

A good place to start in accomplishing your weight loss goals is to set realistic goals for yourself.  Not sure what that is?  Aim to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week.  You can achieve that by burning 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume during the day.

When you set your goals think about both the process and outcome of the goals.  Try setting goals like this – “walk every day for at least 30 minutes” – that is the process.  “Lose 10 pounds” is an outcome of your goal. 

Discover healthier foods that you enjoy.

Of course eating, healthier foods will help to promote weight loss.  Decreasing your daily caloric intake shouldn’t mean you have to give up on foods tasting good.  Find foods that satisfy your hunger and your taste buds.

Select more plant-based foods along with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  

Here are some tips for eating healthy:

  • Eat four servings of your favorite vegetables and three servings of your favorite fruits daily.
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains.
  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters, and nut oils in modest amounts.
  • Cut out sugar as much as possible.  Natural sugar like fruit is good for you.
  • Low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and poultry are good choices in limited amounts.

Stay active.

Regular physical activities combined with calorie restrictions will help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise will help burn those excess calories that you aren’t able to cut with diet alone.

Plus, there are numerous health benefits that include improving your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system along with reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that people that have maintained their weight loss over a long period of time exercise regularly. 

The number of calories you burn will depend on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your activities.  Brisk walking is one of the best ways to lose body fat.  You will need to be consistent with it though.  If you choose walking as your activity, plan on walking for 30 minutes or more most days of the week. 

Change your perspective of how you think and feel about food. 

In order to see long-term results you may want to look at it as a lifestyle change.  Good eating and exercise habits will help you lose weight.  These habits will need to become a way of life for you to have continued success in weight management.  

Assess the personal challenges you may have with weight loss along with any triggers.  Plan on how you will address them as they come up.  Dining out can be troublesome for some people.  It doesn’t have to be.  Develop a plan like substituting the french fries with steamed broccoli and the cheeseburger with some grilled salmon.  Your body will thank you for it and your future self will appreciate that you made that choice too.

If you feel as though you have an unhealthy relationship with food, discuss this with your doctor. They can guide you on how you can address some of those issues.  Once you are ready, set the goals, stay consistent, and enjoy the rewards of improving your eating and exercise habits.

OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch provides compassionate care.  Together we can help you live a healthier and happier life.