Weight Loss - Getting Started
Get motivated- define your goals
Think about why you actually want to loose weight and what it is you want to change. Are you trying to loose weight for your health or trying to get rid of flabby arms so you can wear a sleeveless gown? What ever the reason, try to figure out exactly what it is and define your weight loss goals, that will help you when you decide on a plan of action to achieve them.
Look at yourself- how much time can you devote to your goal.
Now that you have defined your goals, think about it REALISTICALLY. Figure out how much time you have to loose the weight. A safe bet is usually a pound a week. You are not going to loose 50 pounds in two months. Don’t try anything that is not safe or unhealthy. If you have a lot of weight to loose, seek the help of a professional like a physician or nutritionist.
Look at your habits. Keep an Activity (food and exercise) Log.
Before you can start changing your eating and exercise habits, you need to identify them. That might sound futile, but sometimes you may not realize the “little” things that you do and even the smallest change can make a difference.
The best way to recognize your habits is to keep an Activity Log. The Activity Log will allow you to analyze what you do and find the areas where you will be able to make changes. Nothing elaborate, just the simple facts. Track these items for at least a week:
1. What you eat (and drink) and when. Also include how you felt at the time. Do you see any patterns? For example:
“Monday 9 am, Boss not happy with my work. Ate a Snickers Bar.”
Or no entries until 11 am “Starving! Ate a cheeseburger, fries, and a milk shake”.
Or maybe everyday at 11am and 2 pm you see “Tired, drank a Pepsi”.
2. Track all physical activity, not just exercise. Ex.) Do you take the elevator or the stair to the third floor?
3. Track sleep. Experts say getting enough sleep is essential to successful weight loss.
Once it is done- do you see any trends? Any emotions that trigger certain activities? Look to see where you can make changes that will make a difference.
Decide on a plan of attack.
Hopefully you were able to get an idea of where you need to get started making your changes. Are you trying diet or exercise, or both. Just be careful not to try to make too many drastic changes all at once. You might think about changing your eating habits first and then exercise or visa versa. Too many changes all at once can lead to feeling deprived and you don’t want that!
So now decide the exact changes you will need to make. You may want to get some information and expertise to achieve your goals. Try consulting with professionals such as a physician, nutritionist, diet center, or personal trainer or gather information from books or the internet. The key is to identify the problem and decide on a course of action!