Monday, January 23, 2012

How Can I Lose Weight Making Small Changes?

I'm a 42-year old woman and I'm at my wits end with my weight! I've tried so many diets I can't count, but I'm still about 50 pounds overweight and very frustrated. I keep hearing diets don't work and you have to change your lifestyle, but how can I change what's keeping me overweight when I don't know where to start? I hope you can help...  Louise C.

Hi Louise,
Relax! Trying to make too many changes at once is frustrating, and it's also nearly impossible. The key is to make just one change a week, or a similar pace that works for you. People who are overweight know they eat too much, know what foods are fattening, and know they should be more active. Choose something you know is contributing to your weight loss, and find an easy way to change it for you.
Some ideas are:
1) Keep a food diary so you can be totally aware of what you're eating. After you've done this for a week or so, take a good look at what you're eating and when. Do you sometimes eat when you aren't hungry? Can you make an effort to stop eating food you don't really like, but just nibble on because they're in the office conference room? Can you make a "no eating zone" in an area where you stress eat, like your desk or your car? This helps eliminate some of the calories you're eating and not even enjoying.

2) Consider portion sizes: Are you cooking too much at dinner time? Eating 2 portions when you could be getting another meal out of the leftovers? Are you going out to eat and cleaning your plate out of habit? Can you make a change here and start eating smaller amounts at meals?

3) How can you be more active when it's not second nature to you? Can you go for an early morning walk, or perhaps one after dinner? Join a sport you've always wanted to play, or take those flights of stairs each day. Exercising does not have to mean going to the gym for 2 hours a day.

Once you're comfortable with one new habit, continue working on it while you add just one more small change.

Now how do these small changes add up to make a difference? Well, for every 100 calories you can shave off your intake (or burn off by moving more) each day, you'll lose nearly a pound at the end of a month. I know a pound a month isn't much, but it's likely you'll be able to cut your intake by closer to 300 or 400 calories, and work off another 100 or 200 by walking a mile or two. Now you're up to five or six pounds a month.
Still not convinced it's worth it? Multiply this by 12 months and figure out what you could weigh a year from now, just by making small changes--no crash diets or starving!

If you need guidance, support, and accountability, consider hiring a diet coach (hop over to to read all about it), or joining one of the many free weight-loss support sites like or is another site that has an app to go along with it so you can use your iphone to keep your daily food and exercise log.

1 comment:

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