How to Lose Weight; 10 Do’s and Don’ts
By Melissa Brandon | March 2, 2020
Deciding you want to lose weight is a big step, but now what? Losing weight is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. So you need a strategy. Following are some tips I have compiled that I think will assist you on your journey.
- Don’t set a big weight loss goal. Do set monthly weight loss goals. The problem with setting your goal too big is you may get discouraged if you aren’t seeing fast enough results. A small monthly goal, allowing for 1-2 pounds per week, will enable you to collect some wins!
- Don’t go on a diet. Do tell yourself you are adjusting your eating habits and increasing activity. A diet implies that once it is over, you can “get back to normal.” Something you need to accept is that once you have reached your weight loss goal, you are not done. You want to maintain the positive changes you are making in your life. If you don’t, the weight will most likely return and studies have shown that you may gain more weight than you lost.
- Don’t drink sugar. Do drink water. Sodas, juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, coffee drinks and even purchased smoothies can have an alarming amount of added sugar. You should work on reducing, or eliminating them. In addition, you should also reduce your alcohol intake as alcohol usually contains a lot of sugar. You should aim to drink up to half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. Dehydration often is mistaken for hunger. Water also removes waste from the body and assists with fat burning.
- Don’t be unprepared when it comes to eating. Do plan and prepare your own meals. This may take more effort and time, but it is a key component in helping you lose weight. Make sure you have the right type of food at home and at work. Make some time on the weekend where you can plan meals and go shopping so that you have everything on hand for the week ahead.
- Don’t stay sedentary. Do strength train and move more. Replacing body fat with lean muscle is important. If you don’t strength train, you may lose lean muscle instead of fat. You don’t want that! Strength training a few days a week will help ensure this doesn’t happen to you. It also will increase your metabolism. Do other activities, such as walking or spinning, so that you are moving every day.
- Don’t go it alone. Do find a friend and keep each other accountable. If you have trouble prioritizing yourself, this is a helpful trick. You will find it more difficult to cancel exercise if you know someone else is depending on you. If you can’t find a friend, you can also hire a trainer.
- Don’t burn the candle at both ends. Do get adequate rest. If you are not sleeping enough or have difficulty staying asleep, improve your sleep hygeine. Obesity and lack of sleep are directly correlated.
- Don’t be all or nothing. Do strive for consistency. If you miss a workout or two and you find yourself slipping back into your old eating habits, just begin again. It’s fine! The weight you are trying to lose did not appear overnight and it is not going to go away overnight either.
- Don’t count calories. Do consider timed restricted eating. So long as you are eating food that comes from nature, calorie counting is not necessary. So don’t starve yourself, but do consider fasting a few days a week for 12 hours at a time. This time of no eating allows the body to clean itself. Water is allowed during the fasting window. If you are concerned about caffeine in the morning, black coffee and tea is also permitted and not considered to be breaking the fast.
- Don’t stress. Do reduce stress. Stress does not happen to us, it happens in us. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. High levels of cortisol can cause weight gain, especially in the belly. To reduce stress, exercise, do breath work with meditation or a yoga practice. Scheduling time for massages may also be helpful.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to support weight loss. It’s not a one size fits all, but if you incorporate some, or all of these suggestions into your life, you will not only lose weight, you will change your life and that could lead to a happier and healthier you! Contact me if you want help or have questions about losing weight and improving your health.