How to Lose Weight in Five Steps

Cheryl Zielke
how to lose weight
How to Jump Start a Diet

The perennial question, "How To Lose Weight?" has been the center of research for decades. We have dieting tools in the form of pills, books, programs, and foods. What are the best tools to lose weight and how to incorporate these tools into today's highly marketed, advertised food-pushing environment? While there is no perfect plan for everyone, the following information will help you decide how to lose weight according to your specific needs.

Real or Myth

First, it is important to remind yourself that companies are in business to make money. With this in mind, it is best to stay clear of any marketing that sounds too good to be true. If claims of easy or simple, fast or rapid, guaranteed, no dieting necessary, or similar statements are made, most likely it is not the plan for long-term success at weight management. It has long been known and confirmed that reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity are the proven ways on how to lose weight safely and effectively.

Step One

As with any action plan, setting realistic goals is key to motivation and determination. How to lose weight is much more about the mindfulness and thought process than simply saying no to dessert. For example, if you are at a party and there is a dessert table piled high with all your favorite chocolate indulgences, saying no will be easier if you are mindful of your goal to fit into that bathing suit in a couple weeks on your cruise to Jamaica. Not going on a cruise to Jamaica, how about reminding yourself of how important your health is to your quality of life and how getting those extra pounds off will dramatically reduce your risk of several harmful health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Goal Setting

Short term goals: These are the goals that keep you going from day to day, week to week, month to month. You want to keep these goals realistic and attainable. This is how to lose weight to your advantage. If your goals are too lofty here, say a ten pound weight loss in two weeks, you may be likely to set yourself up for disappointment. It is much better to reach your goals and feel good about it then vice versa.

Long term goals: Setting a long term goal is probably what has driven you to this article. It is this goal that gets us up and running about losing weight. This goal is most often the size you wish to be. However, keep in mind that your final goal is best not to be a given number on the scale or clothing size. It is much more important to look at even a bigger picture that incorporates healthy lifestyle changes for the rest of your life.

Step Two

Find support. This step is critical to determining how to lose weight for you. If you are a social person, perhaps a group program like Weight Watchers, is an option. If you sit at your computer all day, perhaps logging into eDiets may be your best bet. There are several support systems available, even as close as your neighbor or best friend.

Step Three

Stay the course by finding the balance. This involves a food plan that works into your particular lifestyle, and exercise program that matches your fitness level and you find enjoyment participating in, and a support system that offers you what you need. If, at any time, you are not feeling balanced with these aspects of your diet plan, then you need to reassess your approach. For example, if your food plan requires you to cook up homemade meals, drinks, and snacks, yet you are not the stay-at-home type, then you may need to look into food products that are convenient for you to choose along your travels.

Step Four

Reward yourself. Losing weight is more than just the final result; it is also about the journey of self-discovery. When you say no to the chips or the candy bar, give yourself the pat on the back you deserve with either a reinforcing, positive statement to yourself, or that new CD you've been eyeing. Changing habits is not easy and is not accomplished overnight. It is a long process that requires encouragement along the way to keep you in track.

Step Five

Never give up. If you should have a not-so-good day because you couldn't pass by the cookie jar without snatching one cookie, it is to your advantage not to let that one cookie sabotage your efforts and accomplishments otherwise. Guilt, otherwise known as beating yourself up, is not productive to losing weight and will only cause a spiral effect on your diet plans. Instead, tell yourself you could have had two, three, or four like in the past, and that one cookie is not going to cause you to gain weight. (And it definitely will not). Moderation is always acceptable to losing weight sensibly and in a non-agonizing way. In fact, too much restriction or deprivation should be in your how to lose weight formula. Allow treats in moderation and in accordance with the rest of your day's intake.

Summary of How to Lose Weight

To lose weight the right way, food intake must be addressed. The amount of calories you eat and the amount of calories your body needs is vital information. Exercise plays a significant role in using up extra calories that your body does not need for its various functions. The mindful approach to the process of losing weight cannot be understated. Talk nice to yourself as if YOU are your best friend, seek the motivational help you may need, and be patient, consistent, and persistent.

How to Lose Weight in Five Steps