Making the decision to lose weight is the very first step in your weight loss journey. But now that you’ve made up your mind that you’re ready to put in the effort, you may find yourself wondering what to do next. Here are five tips to help you get started. You can do this!
1. Start Slow
You have to walk before you begin to run. Try replacing unhealthy snacks or reducing portion sizes first. Do something enjoyable that also promotes your goals, like taking walks or going swimming. You don’t have to think, you only need to act. And you can enjoy an audiobook, podcast or music while you do it. Look into how to burn more fat if you haven’t been very successful in the past. There are lots of ways to go about losing weight, you just have to find a method that works for you and your schedule.
2. Drink More Water
Without water, we become dehydrated, and our organs have a difficult time doing their jobs correctly. Water helps your blood to flow more efficiently, it helps to better control body temperature, it maximizes your physical activity and more. Drinking more water also helps you feel satiated and keeps you from drinking your calories instead of eating them. Drinking eight glasses a day is a rule of thumb, but there is another recommendation. Divide your weight in half and drink that much in ounces each day.
3. Remember Your Why
Of course, there will be moments when you don’t feel like making healthy choices. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Be kind to yourself and remember why you started your weight loss journey. Write it down somewhere you can see it easily and often. Perhaps your goal is to get healthy, live to 100, conquer your diabetes or reverse hypertension, whatever your goal, keep it in mind.
4. Start a Food Journal
A food journal is an excellent idea. Not only does it allow you to account for the things that you eat and drink, but it also allows you to keep track of how certain foods make you feel. If you start to make connections between certain foods and behaviors or bodily reactions, you may be more likely to remove that food from your diet with little trouble. For instance, you may notice that rice makes your blood pressure go up or that kale helps you to have more comfortable bowel movements.
5. Be Present
Start to be more aware and intentional about the choices you make. Be present at mealtimes. Don’t multitask and watch TV, read or scan your social media while you’re eating. Take your time and eat. Our eyes often start the work of digestion, so paying attention to how we eat is important. You also want to make sure that you are properly chewing your food to optimize your digestion and nutrient absorption. You may find that by slowing down, you eat less and feel better afterward.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be an unpleasant journey. You don’t have to be “hungry” or feel out of place at a gym. You can start small and work your way up to something bigger. It’s your time.