How do I get started with long-term weight loss?
Weight loss is not a one-size-fits all strategy. Instead, it is a highly individualized journey that can be achieved by many different blends of diets and exercise routines. What matters most is once you’ve reached that goal weight, you are able to maintain it through a set of habits that are realistic and effective for the rest of your life.
When I sit down with any client looking for weight loss, I make sure to guide them through a set of safe, well-researched nutritional guidelines I was taught during my years of dietetic training. Remember: the guidelines I will be sharing with you are to be used as a tool and are not the RULE! Make sure above all you are making changes that support optimal health and happiness for YOU.
Let’s get started!
Log your daily food intake. This may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s crucial to track your daily intake initially so you can get familiar with the portion sizes you need at each meal to reach your healthy weight. Pay attention to your hunger cues and why you are eating- are you eating to comfort a tough day or is your tummy rumbling? Once you get comfortable with understanding what your body needs to feel energized and satisfied (not full), you will not need to track. This is highly individual and will range from person to person!
- Try using a phone app like MyFitnessPal or online resource like Spark People for quick and easy tracking!
Eat a serving of Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates every 3-4 hours. This is essential for consistent energy levels, a thriving metabolism, and decreased sugar cravings! Not sure what counts as a serving? Refer back to my earlier post on how to build a balanced diet!
Quality over Quantity. Food quality is crucial to overcome health obstacles and reach your goal weight. We need a healthy gut for the proper breakdown and assimilation of nutrients in the body, and the only way to do that is by incorporating these Super Foods on a weekly basis:
- Organ meats– yes that means liver, heart, or even kidneys!
- Eggs– including the yolk and its essential nutrients
- Cold-water, oily fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring
- Traditional fats – grass-fed butter, ghee, lard, tallow
- Bone broths &/or tougher cuts of meat, skin, and cartilage – rich in glycine and other gut-healing amino acids
- Dark, leafy greens – kale, collards, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, etc.
- Fermented foods – vegetables, dairy, kombucha
- Spirulina/Chlorella available today in supplement or powder form- loaded with antioxidants/ nutrients that are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet & can help to detoxify our essential organs.
Stay Flexible. In reality, most people sustain a long-term healthy weight by following their own 80/20 rule that gives them a little wiggle room to indulge but also stay on track with their goals of well-being. Trying to stick to a strict diet almost always leads to additional stress or a yo-yo relationship with food.
Support your Success. Bring your family onboard, enlist the support of your friends, or tap into popular online resources like blogs or social networks. Having a strong network of support is essential for long-term weight loss success. Not only can support networks help educate you on making healthy choices, but they can increase accountability to your goals.