Tag Archives: weight loss tips

How to Get in the Mindset to Lose Weight

weight loss girl in jeans

Losing weight can seem like an impossible feat. You might see people pull it off on Facebook, but the pounds never seem to disappear when you try it yourself. 

What gives? 

Well, as with all goals, losing weight takes planning and commitment. In fact, there’s more mental effort required than any other kind. So how do we get into the right mindset for weight loss?

Introduction to Weight Loss

Firstly, losing weight is simple. Every day our bodies burn a certain amount of calories. If you were to eat nothing at all for long enough, your body would deplete its available calories. 

Inversely, if you were to eat a lot, your body will work to try and store these additional calories as fat. If you are doing resistance training, some of those calories may become muscle. No matter what you’ve seen people say about slow metabolism and all its associated buzzwords, every person will lose weight if calories are restricted sufficiently. 

When we talk about weight loss, we are typically talking about burning excess fat to break this down a little more. A pound of fat is equal to around 3,500 calories. That means in a given week (7 days,) for you to burn one pound of fat, you should reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. 

But how much less is that than you eat now, you ask? The best way to figure this out is to estimate your current base metabolic rate (BMR). This will tell you how many calories you should eat each day to keep your body weight the same. This BMR Calculator is a good place to start. Type in your age, gender, height, and weight, and the calculator will estimate your caloric needs based on activity level. Eat more than this, and you will gain weight. Eat less, and you should lose weight.

Disclaimer About Weight Loss Struggles

Before moving on, it is important to recognize where medications, hormonal imbalances, or other issues may be contributing to things like water retention, poor metabolic function, or other medical issues that may interfere with weight loss. To determine if this describes you, consult with a weight loss specialist to learn about the next steps. 

Also, the above calculator is an estimate. Tracking your weight eat a day on a scale, both morning and night, is a good way to track your weight over time and learn if you need to consume fewer or more calories to maintain healthy weight loss. Aim to reduce body weight by no more than 0.5% each week, or work with a specialist to determine how much weight is safe for you to lose.

Trouble Losing Weight?

For “medically normal” individuals, weight loss is all about sticking to it. Remember, weight loss takes time. 

With that in mind, it is important to mention this fundamental reality of weight loss, because it’s frequently denied by people who claim they can’t lose weight. Some people say they are too old to lose weight anymore, or have a body that holds on to calories to an unbelievable degree. 

While there might be associated challenges with losing weight for older people than they once were, or those with certain medical conditions, this lack of weight loss is primarily due to inactivity and how much we eat. 

Many of us are stuck at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That means, in most cases, that we are moving around less than we once did. It should be no surprise, therefore, that many of us are gaining weight. If you want to be in the right mindset for weight loss, you have to recognize that you aren’t yet burning enough calories, relative to your calorie intake, and that this is why you aren’t losing weight. 

Taking Action

Once we’ve accepted this fundamental notion of weight loss and weight gain, it’s time to decide what we’re going to do about it. Again, our options are pretty simple.

You can eat less or exercise more, or both! Some people have found success starting with diet alone for the first few months, then adding exercise; others find that balancing exercise and diet works for them. Trying things is key to finding what is right for you! 

Once you choose your methods, you’ll have to stick to them for a long time. This isn’t like a New Year’s Resolution, where you give up on day two. Weight loss and weight management require a change to your lifestyle going forward. 

Staying motivated may be the biggest challenge of all, but having a good plan can help. 

Creating a Plan

Even if you are going the diet route, you should still consider adding a few simple exercises to your schedule. Walking and jogging may be the simplest and most effective, especially if you have been inactive for a long time and aren’t sure how your body will hold up; take your time and don’t force weight loss because you will potentially injury yourself.

If you are looking to be more active, along with diet, then get access to cardio and resistance training equipment at a gym or home. Start by adding about 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, without changing your daily caloric intake. 

Ideally, you are getting at least 150 minutes of exercise that elevates your heart rate each week. 

As you cut your calories and exercise more, you will start to eye food differently. Often, we “freestyle” eat, meaning that we snack when we’re hungry, and we don’t take careful stock of the portions we eat at mealtime. Thousands of calories can slip by unnoticed when we eat this way. 

Get any of the many free calorie counting apps and monitor everything you consume. 

Supplements for Cravings

If you have trouble with food cravings, some supplements can help. 

Each of these three products works to help you limit your hunger in strategic ways, whether you are craving carbs or trying to limit your binge eating habits. 

Once you’ve managed to follow a regular exercise routine and establish calorie limits, you’ll start to see results. Don’t try to lose weight too fast. You want to preserve your health and energy, and for weight loss to be sustainable. Many lose-weight-fast diet programs don’t help you rethink your relationship with food and build good lifestyle habits. They merely tell you that certain foods are “bad,” while encouraging you to lose a bunch of weight and then gain the weight back just a month or two later, so you have to come back and do the program all over. 

Stop doing this!

Keep up the good work for weeks and months, adjusting your exercise and calories as needed, and you’ll hit your weight loss goals before you know it.

Slow and Steady Wins the Weight Loss Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Weight Loss Race.By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Along with American’s exploding waistlines comes a barrage of diets and quick weight loss tips.  Excess pounds don’t build up overnight and consequently excess weight takes time to lose.   Our impatience often leads us to jump on the latest diet fad bandwagon.  Small steps actually can lead to giant leaps and assist with weight loss given time and patience.  Did you know that trimming 100 calories each day can lead to 10 pounds of weight loss in one year?  Or that walking 2,500 steps per day can burn 100 calories?  Baby steps that save or burn 100 calories here and there add up to a more desirable weight.  Here are some little things that can mean a lot when it comes to your waistline:

  • Set realistic goals.  Most people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to weight loss.  People can typically reduce their weight by 10 – 15% with the best behavior-modification programs.  If you try to lose too much, too quickly, you set yourself up for failure and are more likely to regain any weight you’ve lost.  Keep your expectations reasonable and you are more likely to be satisfied with your progress. 
  • Learn the calorie counts of foods.  Many restaurant and fast food menus list calorie counts of menu items.  However, you need to actually read and pay attention to those counts.  Most of us highly under-rate the calorie counts of foods we eat especially when dining out or eating at fast food restaurants.  Some restaurants have online nutritional information so you can decide what to eat ahead of time. 
  • Keep a food diary.  This tip can really help keep your daily caloric intake in check.  You’ll think twice about what you absentmindedly pop into your mouth when you have to be accountable for every bite.  There are some great phone apps, such as “Lose It!” and “Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary,” that help you track your calories and progress.
  • Pack your own lunch.  Bring your lunch from home and include a piece of fruit or some raw vegetables.  Fast food meals are generally calorie-dense and deficient in nutrition.  Skip the fast food burgers and fries to save calories and reduce your sodium and unhealthy fat intake. 
  • Don’t supersize!  Those value meals are no bargain when it comes to your health.  Most adults don’t need more than 2,000 calories daily depending on activity level.  A McDonald’s Big Mac, medium fries and a vanilla shake equals 1,680 calories, enough for a full day’s caloric intake in one meal. 
  • Walk the doggie.  Dogs love to go for walks and it’s good for their health and yours.  Regular walks help you maintain or lose weight and will keep your pet’s weight down as well.  If you walk at a moderate pace you can burn 100 calories per mile.  Walk three times per day for 15 minutes at a time and voila! 300 calories burned. 
  • Drop the “clean your plate” mentality, especially when dining out.  Restaurant portions are more than oversized, they’re calorie dense and a sure recipe for obesity. People who dine out regularly are more likely to be overweight.  The simple answer, don’t eat everything on your plate.  Wrap it up and take it home for your next day’s lunch or dinner.  When dining at home, serve meals on plates that are fixed in the kitchen.  Serving family style makes it easy to reach for additional helpings.  Studies show that people eat less when they have to get up to get another serving. 
  • Skip the low-fat food choices.  Low fat foods are typically high in sugar content and calorie density.  Low fat diets that are full of fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods are a more sensible way to weight loss. 
  • Eat a variety of foods, but eat the right foods.  People who eat a variety of all foods actually have more body fat.  Instead of eating a variety of vegetables, most of us eat a variety of junk.  People who eat a variety of fruits and vegetable have less body fat and that’s good news for those of us wanting to maintain our weight and our health. 
  • Think healthy, not skinny.  Diet sodas and artificially sweetened foods may have less calories but they are not nutritious.  Foods containing phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber cut your risk of disease in addition to your weight. 
  • Use your scale.  Dieters who weigh themselves frequently lose more weight than those who do not.  Be sure to weigh yourself at the same time each week as body weight fluctuates from day to day.    
  • Drink water.  Skipping that one soda each day can save you 150 calories.  People who drink adequate amounts of water daily lose more weight that those who drink soda or other calorie laden drinks.  Water is essential to all body functions so drink up to your own good health and a trimmer waistline.
  • Eat enough calories to keep your metabolism humming.  When you eat less than you need for basic biological function, your body slows your metabolism and can break down calorie-burning muscle for energy usage.  Eat just enough so that you are not hungry.  For example, three meals of approximately 450 calories each and a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack of 150 calories each should keep you satisfied and prevent overeating later in the day. 
  • Limit your food intake to an 8 hour day.   Artificial light has led to an extension of our feeding times.  Late night eating while watching TV can add up to meals number 4, 5 and 6.  All those extra calories end up as extra pounds.  When we eat can be just as important as what we eat. 
  • Practice flexible restraint.  Allow yourself a cheat meal or snack once in a while.  A strict all or nothing approach to dieting has been linked to overeating, weight gain and anxiety.  It appears an occasional slip up is okay as long you quickly get back on track. 
  • Stand up!  Standing requires more energy than sitting and is an effortless way to burn calories.  Stand up for 10 minutes each hour of your 8 hour work day and you’ll burn an extra 100 calories. 
  • Remember, any and all activity burns calories.  Five or ten minutes here and there all add up to more calories burned.  Walking is one the easiest and most natural movements.  Taking a short walk at lunchtime helps to relieve stress and maintain focus for the balance of the day.  A fifteen minute walk after dinner not only burns calories, it boosts your health as well.  Health benefits of an evening walk can include reducing blood pressure, increasing muscular strength, decreasing body fat, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, increasing or maintaining bone density and giving the immune system and your metabolism a boost. 

Remember, losing weight over the long term burns excess body fat.  Crash dieting, skipping meals, or fasting, removes lean muscle tissue along with fat.  The loss of lean muscle causes a fall in your basal metabolic rate, the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis.  As a result, your body will need fewer calories than it did before, making weight gain likely once you stop dieting.  To see long term results, introduce changes gradually over an extended period of time and increase your activity levels. 

Supplements to aid in weight loss include: 

Super HCA by Douglas Laboratories –  Each tablet of Super HCA delivers 840 mg of (-) hydroxycitric acid from  a high-quality, standardized garcinia cambogia extract.  This natural extract comes from a tropical fruit grown in several Asian rain forest areas.  Research indicates that (-) hydroxycitric acid plays an important role in the regulation of normal appetite.  Unlike many commonly used diet ingredients, (-) hydroxycitric acid is not a central nervous stimulant.

MediBulk (SP621) by Thorne Research –  Fiber helps to keep you full, which can make it easier to cut back on the amount of food you eat plus maintain GI tract health.   Medibulk contains psyllium, pectin, and prune powder and is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. 

Sweet TRIM by Brightcore NutritionThis advanced weight loss and energy formula contains green coffee bean, raspberry ketone and African mango.  Unlike a single ingredient weight loss product, Sweet TRIM™ is unique in the fact that it has a whole foods-based formula and combines 11 of the top weight loss ingredients found in nature to help with weight loss efforts.  This unique formulation creates a synergy that enhances the effectiveness of each ingredient.

CLA by Ortho Molecular –  Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) naturally speeds up the body’s fat metabolism as well as helping the body metabolize existing fat deposits. CLA aids in reducing body fat while increasing muscle tone.  Made from safflower seed oil.