7 Steps to Weight Loss

7 Steps to Weight Loss, where should I begin my journey?

Whenever you start a new endeavor, it’s important to know where you are, get an idea of the obstacles ahead, educate yourself so you are able to surpass the obstacles, devise a plan and try your best to execute it with fidelity. In this regard, starting your weight loss journey is no different.

Step 1: Take a look at the diet you are eating at the present and don’t rely on your memory. For the next week, make a food diary, be honest with yourself and write down everything you eat.

Step 2: You may have a pretty good idea what foods are responsible for the weight gain and/or are keeping you from shedding pounds. But, given the misinformation that is so prevalent on the internet, it may be best to speak to a health professional who is knowledgeable about nutrition.

Step 3: Also, educate yourself. Helpful websites and books in this regard include:

Forks over Knives, Nutritionfacts.org, PCRM,  Dr. McDougall’s site Undo It,  The Pleasure Trap, Eat to Live, Breaking the Food Seduction

These books and websites will describe in various ways how calorie dense foods(typically processed foods and animal foods) are the root cause of obesity and also responsible for so many of our chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. And, you will no doubt learn that we are hard-wired to crave these calorie dense foods. We’ll summarize some of the strategies from these books and other sources below.

Step 4: Awareness that our brain craves high calorie foods and the environment around is not conducive to healthy eating. Though we can not change the macro environment, we can certainly change our microenvironment. So, clean out your kitchen and pantry and get rid of calorie dense foods and buy instead nutritious and tasty whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These foods have been shown time and again to be crucial to sustainable weight loss.

Step 5: So you have educated yourself, even devised a plan, and have started taking first steps to eat healthy, but then you give into a doughnut. This brings up important qualities of self-compassion and perseverance. Always keep in mind, you are not shooting for perfection, just excellence. And, know that slip-ups are part of the journey. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, dust yourself off,  and do your best on the next meal.

Step 6: Perhaps, this should have been discussed earlier–importance of exercise. This will help you burn some extra calories but the main benefit of exercise is that it will improve your physical and emotional well being and this provides the motivational fuel that will help you to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Step 7: Realize, none of this is easy, but it’s doable. And, to increase our chances of success, finding the right tribe is essential. Don’t take our word for it but just look at the Blue Zones around the world, where people are not obese, and live long, healthy, and vibrant lives. So, getting support from your tribe and at times professional support may be the secret ingredient that helps you not just lose weight but keep it off.

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