Seven steps to begin a weight loss plan
Have you been thinking about losing weight but don’t know where to begin?
Published: July 11, 2014
By Laura Dvorak, UCHealth
Here are seven steps to get you started:
- Make a commitment, write it down or tell someone. This will hold you accountable.
- Start small and make changes that you know will work. Break the total amount of weight you want to lose into small, actionable goals. Think in terms of one or two pounds per week or five to seven pounds a month rather than focusing on the total amount of weight you want to lose.
- Create a plan. The more specific and detailed plan you have, the greater your odds for success. The best plan is one that combines both healthy eating and exercise.
A healthy, balanced eating plan is one that:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish beans eggs and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, Trans fats, cholesterol, salt and sugars.
- Stays within the number of calories your body needs for your physical activity level.
- Identify daily and weekly goals. For example, adding two 10-minute walks, four times a week to your work day. Keep things positive, avoid using words like never, always and avoid.
- Choose smaller portions. In one year, 100 extra calories per day can add ten pounds. Measure out your portions. This is very helpful when you are first starting to make changes.
Tip: wait 15 minutes before starting another portion of dinner, dessert or a grabbing snack. You will often find you will begin to feel full and the urge to continue eating goes away.
- Keep track of the food you eat. According to data from the National Weight Control Registry, people who kept food records ate fewer calories, lost more weight and controlled their weight longer than those who did not keep a food record.
- Get active. Exercising will help you burn more calories and build muscle. Pick an activity that you like to do and find a friend who likes the same activity. Try to add three to five minutes to your daily exercise routine each week.