Being heavier may or may not affect your health in a negative way if you don’t have metabolic syndrome or heart disease, but that is a topic for a different day.
If you want to lose weight, who am I to talk you out of something you want? I wouldn’t try to talk you out of going on a trip to Antarctica to see penguins. I would share information that would help get you there if I had it.
I have five steps that might help you on a weight loss journey. These are not guaranteed weight loss steps. Some medications and health situations can make it difficult to lose weight. There are other personal situations that make it difficult. You might be at the weight you need to be right now for some very real reason…or maybe not. With my disclaimer out of the way, here we go.
Love the body you have. You will be more likely to do loving things for your body for a longer time if you love your body rather than hate it. Read the blog post from October 12, 2023 for the full version.
Increase your food quality. It will pay big dividends. See blog post from December 21, 2023. I will repeat one point though which is food you cook—actually prepare and cook, not just warm up from packaged—is much higher quality than restaurant or carry out food.
Set up your environment for success. Don’t underestimate this step. Our environments have changed over the last 50 years. The amount of fast food and carry-out food we drive past each day have increased drastically. We may not be able to change our macro-environment by moving from an urban to rural area to avoid these, but we can control at least some of our micro-environments such as our homes and our work area. Depending on who you live with, you may have complete or limited control on your home environment when it comes to the food that is stored in the pantry or refrigerator. Don't use the excuse of having certain foods for guests. You can serve guests good, healthy food. It is alright to get rid of food that is bad for you. If you bought an air-freshener that you later discovered contained toxins, you wouldn't say “Well, I bought it so I am going to breath it in even though it is bad for my lungs”? In the same way, we eat food in the house to “get rid of it” even though it is bad for us. This makes no sense. We may not have much say as to what food is in a work break room (maybe you could start a healthy breakroom food movement at work), but we have control over the food stored in our desk drawers. We may have control over how many advertisements we view each day.
Lower your sugar and processed wheat (flour) intake. Read blog post on metabolic health on Jan 1, 2024. This is hard to do for the first two weeks, but the more sugar and flour you cut out during the first two weeks, the easier it is after that.
Exercise willpower. In blog post dated September 28, 2023, we talked about calorie restriction, white knuckling it and why that only works for a while. While that is true, you do need to muster up some fortitude – especially at the beginning when the sugar cravings are high and new habits are not yet formed. You will need less willpower as the habits of eating higher quality foods kick in. I have never thought “I am really disappointed that I ate sooo much broccoli”. Those higher quality foods seem to have a better way of volume regulating. Processed foods are designed, manufactured, and packaged with exact amount of salt, sugar, and texture for you to highly crave the food. They want to sell more of their product and have no concern over negative health effects.
These steps can help us prepare quality meals, feel better and be healthier whether we want to lose some weight or not. The steps can be challenging. It is best to not be too hard on yourself when your attempts fall short. Perfection is not attainable. Be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable—only you know your tendencies. Balance is the key.