To individuals who struggle with weight management, diet is a four letter word. However, changing eating habits doesn’t need to be extreme or intimidating. Follow the five tips below and you’ll be well on your way to lasting results.

1. Reduce your calorie intake.
It is essential to reduce calorie intake in order to lose weight. Regular exercise can boost the pace of weight loss a little, not a lot. Yes, you can out eat any exercise habit. Find a structured diet approach that you’re comfortable with and go for it.

2. Be as consistent with your diet as you are able to be.
The degree of calorie restriction and consistency on your plan are the primary drivers for weight loss. To steadily lose weight, you must consistently reduce calorie intake below maintenance calories for your current weight. The first three months usually produces the fastest weight loss. Typically people make the majority of their total progress within the first six months of their weight loss plan.

3. Keep count.
One successful approach to losing weight is calorie counting. The single most important thing to consistently do to succeed as a calorie counter is to actually count calories. Watching what you eat is not calorie counting, it’s wishful thinking. Journal your food intake throughout the day, accurately estimate serving sizes, and use a reference of some sort to estimate your calories. This is counting calories.

4. Use single-serving foods.
If you don’t want to bother with counting calories for yourself, you could follow a pattern diet using single-serving foods instead. Diet plans using prepackaged, single-serving products tend to produce more consistent day to day calorie intake. That consistency produces a faster pace of weight loss for most folks. Approaches which use this strategy usually produce more weight loss during the first few months, which frequently translates into a lower ending weight.

5. Let someone guide you.
Having an obesity specialist, coach or mentor to guide you through this process can help you to reach your goals. Maintaining your weight loss momentum during those crucial first few months is likely to increase your total weight loss. A coach can also help you to gradually transition from your initial weight loss diet into a maintenance diet for your new weight.

Written by H. Allen Chapman, PA-C
Physician Assistant – Certified
Alaska Premier Health