10 Simple Things You Can do Today to Start Losing Weight
Kent Sasse, MD
- Start a food log. Keep an accurate record of everything you eat. By keeping a log, you become much more aware of the food and drink you’re consuming. In time, this heightened mindfulness will help you to make—and stick with—healthful changes in your diet.
- Weigh yourself every day. Studies show that, when trying to lose weight, we are most successful when we weigh ourselves daily in order to stay mindful of our goals.
- Serve your meals on smaller plates. Most of us are used to seeing our plates full of food; anything less makes us feel as though we’re not getting enough. By switching to a smaller plate, you still get to enjoy a “full” plate of food, and you’ll feel just as satisfied—while cutting out hundreds of calories that you would otherwise have stuffed yourself with.
- Park farther away. Park at least two rows away from the entrance to your workplace, the grocery store, or any other place you routinely visit. You’ll save time by walking to the door instead of circling the parking lot looking for the “best” spot—and you’ll walk off pounds in the process.
- Take the stairs. Going up one level? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. By climbing just one flight of stairs every day, you can burn an extra 5,800 calories a year.
- Brush your teeth after dinner. Who doesn’t like to have minty-fresh breath and clean teeth? Instead of waiting until bedtime to brush your teeth, do it right after you finish dinner—and don’t have anything but water the rest of the night. This simple step can help you avoid mindless late-night munching.
- Keep a record of the calories you don’t eat. Did you skip the doughnut at work this morning? That’s 250 calories you won’t have to deal with! Did you request potatoes without gravy? You just saved 150 calories. At the end of the day, take a look at the number of calories you almost ate but didn’t. It’s empowering to know that you’ve avoided hundreds, even thousands, of unnecessary calories in a day or a week, so take note of these small victories in your journey to a healthy weight.
- Eat in designated areas only. Avoid mindless eating by having meals in the dining room or at the kitchen table—don’t eat while you’re watching TV or sitting in front of your computer, and don’t eat in your car or in bed.
- Move the candy bowl. If sweets are available at work or at home, put them in a place that isn’t within eyesight. Don’t set yourself up for mindless eating—remove the treats from your immediate reach and from your view.
- Eat a protein bar. Instead of munching on a snack that’s full of empty calories, grab a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate protein bar. It’s nutritious and it will help to suppress your appetite for hours.
Kent Sasse, md, mph, facs, is a renowned pioneer in the field of medically supervised weight loss and the founding director of the Obesity Prevention Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity. The author of the new book Doctor’s Orders: 101 Medically Proven Tips for Losing Weight and the recently released Outpatient Weight-Loss Surgery, is a frequent speaker in the medical community on the topics of weight reduction and obesity. Dr. Sasse is founder and medical director of both the International Metabolic Institute (iMetabolic) and Western Bariatric Institute, a nationally recognized surgical weight loss center and ASMBS Center of Excellence. Through his ongoing research and practice, Dr. Sasse continues to pursue his mission of combating obesity in the United States.
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