How to Lose Weight – Week One

Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian or doctor. I did not go to school to get a degree in Nutrition. Please see your doctor before starting your weight loss journey. But there’s a saying…would you get your haircut by a bald barber? While I may not be a doctor, I did learn a lot while losing my 100 pounds. That being said, I’m starting a new weekly series about how to lose weight.

This new weekly post will be tips and suggestions on how to lose weight. A lot of the emails I get from readers are “How do I lose weight?” and “Where do I start?” Where to start is both HARD and EASY. So this series is really about how I would lose weight if I could do it all over again with the things I learned along the way. The way this will start is with baby steps.

Step One – Measure Your Body and Weigh In.

Sure this will be a hard thing to do. Being faced with the reality of hard, cold numbers is depressing. But it’s important to have some sort of base numbers to track your progress.

One of the things I regret the most about my weight loss journey is NOT MEASURING MY BODY. I just used the scale as my only barometer for weight loss. Measuring and seeing the inches lost would have made the process so much better. Whenever I hit those plateaus on the scale I bet you anything that I was losing inches instead of pounds those weeks.

 

Plus, if you can find a place that you can get a body fat analysis I really recommend that. I’m not talking those archaic calipers either–those aren’t accurate. But sometimes doctors and weight loss businesses have a machine, or a special scale that will give you your Body Fat % for a nominally fee. I’m curious what my Body Fat % was when I was 250 pounds. If I took a guess I’d say 40%?

 

Step Two – Count Your Calories

…WITHOUT any dietary changes. Do not start restricting your calories this week. This week you are just becoming AWARE.

When I first decided that counting calories was how I would lose 100 pounds I wrote down my calories for one day without making any changes.


I remember I started logging my calories on a small Post-It Note that I attached to my microwave. I was floored when I realized that I reached 2,000 calories by lunchtime that one day I counted! That was quite the eye-opener–and I ran out of space on the Post-It. I knew I had to make drastic changes in my lifestyle and the next day I woke up with an iron-clad resolve to eat 2,000 calories or less. It was a struggle.

I had to figure where and how to cut excess calories and what foods I could eat that satisfied me without going over 2,000. More on that in the coming weeks.

Step Three – Get a Journal

This will be a food and exercise journal to track you progress. On page one write down your starting weight and starting measurements. Page two should be your first attempt at counting your calories without making any dietary changes. Just be aware of where you are starting from.

If you’d rather do all of those things digitally there are ways to do that. If you have an iPhone there are Apps you can use (I use My Fitness Pal). If you want to track it on the computer you can set up an Excel spreadsheet (which I did to record each week’s weight) or you can log in at Spark People. There are lots of ways you can do it to make your life easier. (As a side note, for 2 years that I was losing weight I wrote all of my food in a journal by hand. It wasn’t until later that I used the phone app.)

Step Four – Set a Goal

Setting a realistic goal is an important aspect to this equation. The idea of losing 100 pounds was scary, overwhelming and daunting. I decided to start with 50. My goal was to lose 5o pounds before my brother’s wedding. Having a specific date (that was REALISTIC) helped immensely. It motivated me to work harder, it motivated me to keep going when I plateaued and I reached the goal of losing 50 pounds in less than a year.


In your journal on page three make a list of goals. Examples:

  • Lose 50 pounds
  • Consistently work out 3 days a week
  • Get to a size 10 jeans

Your goals should be something that you really want and they will be used to motivate you when times get tough. There is no judgment about your goals. They are individual and personal.

As you can see, Week One does not recommend any exercise or dietary changes yet. Week One is all about Awareness. The hard work comes up next.

In the coming weeks I’ll share more tips and suggestions on how I should have lost the 100 pounds. The way I did it worked for me. It was a slow journey and I think I could have done it a little better in a lot of ways.

250 Pounds
145 Pounds

 

Check back next week for Week Two.

QUESTION: Are you ready to start your weight loss journey? What have been your biggest barriers and roadblocks?

17 Responses

  1. Love this!!
    My biggest roadblock is saying no. Especially at work when it comes to goodies. So I am trying to reframe my mind if I really really want something.
    For example. It has to be homemade. If it is homemade it has to be chocolate. If it is chocolate, it has to be dark chocolate. If none of these are in my “parameters” then I will skip it.
    Plus most of the time, I can make it at home.

    Also, I noticed that any time I want cookies and I am about to put them in my grocery basket. I stop and say to myself- I can make these better and healthier. I end up putting them back on the shelf. Works every time.

  2. I also would’ve taken my measurements from the beginning! You’re right about seeing changes in inches, even when the pounds don’t seem to be falling off. I measured myself last month and in one month I lost 1 inch in my bust and 1 in my hips. And I think I only lost a couple of pounds in that time frame! Measurements are a must!

    1. Measuring seems to be the general consensus with lots of people. I’m curious why we didn’t measure ourselves from the beginning. Did you just not think of it? Or were you not sure the measuring would show changes? I’m not sure why I didn’t measure. I’m definitely kicking myself now for not doing it.

  3. What a great post! I loved it! I agree with the measuring and weight and fat measurements. They really do make you feel more positive if you are at a plateau and you can see how far you’ve come. Can’t wait for the next instalment!!

  4. This was great. I will measure. I would now, but I am too tired to run down and get the measuring tape. But, I will definitely do it.
    Looking forward to more tips.

  5. I agree with all the points you make especially counting calories. There is just no way that one is going to lose weight without counting calories or reducing your portion sizes. Good first post. Can’t wait to read the others.

  6. I just tried to measure myself. It was a riot. I’m not exactly sure where the waist is and where the hips are…I kept getting different numbers (big, nonetheless) and I don’t know if I’ll have find the right spot to re-measure…..can you say: Nutcase?

    1. You are not a nutcase! I have the same problems. BUT the trick is to just make sure you measure the same place each time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your exact waist/hips but as long as you do it in the same spot each time.

      For the hips I find the top of my hip bone and then measure just under that. For the waist it’s where the pants usually sit, sort of around the belly button.

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