One of the most common questions I am asked by my patients is how they can lose their weight effectively. Taking into consideration the rising rate of obesity it’s no surprise that this question comes up so often. Here I have given a step-by-step guide that combines several strategies to lose weight effectively. You might have heard or read about this earlier. But these are some things in my experience that have shown to be the most effective for several of my patients. I have split these steps in two blogs. You will be more successful in losing weight if you are able to follow most of these tips.
Step 1: You must realize that there is no perfect diet.
We all have heard about the outrageous claims of diet plans.
These diets are effective to a certain extent if they are followed faithfully. When followed honestly all these weight loss programs showed similar results at the end of 6 months. But the most unfortunate part of these diets is that once the patients stopped their diets they gained their weight back.
Every individual’s body is unique with a specific basal metabolic rate (BMR). The best diet and exercise plan for you is the one that you can stick with.
Step 2: Write down your goals.
Write down your goals and the weight you want to achieve. I usually recommend that you can keep an initial goal weight around 10% less than your current weight. Studies show that this is quite achievable when diet and exercises are followed faithfully.
Step 3: Remove the word ‘diet’ from your vocabulary.
Firstly you must develop healthy habits to reverse the weight gain. For many the word ‘diet’ means a temporary state of adjusting with eating habits. This is right in a way, like you will have periods where you will have to be strict with your food intake and after a while you will be in ‘maintenance mode’. I always tell my patients who want to quit smoking that firstly you need to be determined that you are going to make some permanent positive changes in your life and the same thing applies to your eating habits also. You need to know that if you go back to your previous eating habits – you will again gain weight. Dieting is a temporary fix to a long term problem.
Step 4: Maintain notes about your weight and diet.
Weigh yourself and jot down your initial weight. Weigh yourself weekly. Maintain a notebook for this. Make it a point to always use the same weigh scale. You may also want to measure certain areas on your body like waist, hips, thighs, chest, arm and lower leg circumference.
Find out what your BMI (body mass index) is and know what should be the healthy weight for your height. Use this calculator for finding your BMI- http://www.medindia.net/doctors/clinical_cal/bmi.asp
Get your blood check-up done- thyroid profile, blood sugar level, lipid profile.
Maintain a food diary and write down everything that you eat. Do this for one week. This includes your meals, snacks, beverages and even gum. Estimate the average calories you are consuming. Make it a habit to read the labels of ready to eat food products or processed foods. Many patients eat what they want to and when they want to but when they find out how many calories they consume daily – they are shocked. You should continue this exercise for several weeks while you are changing your diet.