Spending the past 30 years working in mental health, I often would take breaks to work in the weight loss industry. As we continue to see an epidemic in weight related issues, there are many things we can do to ensure optimal health and weight. But is it possible to lose significant weight without surgery? The answer is yes! But, when attempting to lose significant weight, I encourage you to speak with your physician first. Significant weight will require a team effort. And, you’re going to want all the support you can get during this process. Some will feel that you don’t need the support. But please check with the doctor—it’s just good science to do so.
So where does one start on the journey to healthy weight loss? In every weight loss center and every program that I worked in, all started with breakfast. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only is that true, but especially for weight loss. If we wait to eat when we’re hungry, more often that not we’re going to over eat. So I would recommend a breakfast packed with protein maxing around 400 calories. There are plenty on menus you can find online. Choose one that makes sense to you and be sure that you’re going to enjoy what you’re eating. If you resent it, you won’t stick to it.
Is it important to keep a food journal? Yes and no. I’m not saying you will need to write everything down, but you will need to be honest with yourself. If you are new to weight loss, I would recommend keeping a journal. If you have been down this road before, its more important to be honest with yourself. You know your triggers. Have a plan to counter them.
What about meal replacement programs? Again having a lot of experience working with them, yes you will lose weight, but then what? If you are not cultivating healthy eating patterns, you may in some regards be setting yourself up for failure. I am not opposed nor in favor or them. My approach has been use them as a tool while you’re developing those eating habits. In my experience almost every professional from doctors to nutritionist that I have worked alongside of embraces healthy eating habits as the cornerstone of a good weight loss program.
Sabotage by storage. Do not store junk food in the house under any circumstances. Studies show that we are more likely to forego the junk if it is not within our reach. Make this a priority. This again goes back to being honest. I have had clients tell me that they keep something sweet in the house for company. Don’t do it. It’s a trap. Be honest with yourself. Clean out the closet. It will pay big dividends.
And while weight loss begins in the kitchen, movement is vital to the process. Start slow. Again speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Then be clear of what the goal is… weight loss, heart health or prevention? When we talk of significant weight loss, it will be helpful to enlist the services of a professional. Having that accountability and support are crucial in the early stages. Ask for help early and often.
What type of exercise is best? Depends on who you ask. That said, I like low impact low resistant movement. If you’re just getting started I like the pool. Great for reduced swelling, pain reduction and increases circulation. It’s also great in terms of burning calories. I like the pool because just like food, if you’re not enjoying it, you’re probably not going to stick with it. Think in terms of movement and not exercise.
The last thing I want to mention is the vision. Don’t get caught up on losing pounds. Be more in tune with how you feel. In other words you may have not lost weight, but it is easier climbing the stairs. You may not have lost weight, but your pants may feel lose now. Forget the pounds. Trust your energy and inches (lost).
Significant weight loss is possible. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. With good choices and the proper support team, you can achieve your goal. Remember that safe weight loss falls into a half to two pounds a week. Doesn’t sound like much? Losing 2 pounds a week for a year gets you a 104 pounds. And that should be all the motivation you need.