Shedding The Weight: Step 1
Most of us know it—we need to lose weight.
Let’s flip that script. We need to PRIORITIZE our health! Allowing our weight to creep up in 5-, 10-, or 40-pound increments is a symptom of allowing other things to become a priority other than ourselves, our health, and our focus.
It’s easy for our metabolism to get highjacked! The “standard American diet,” or SAD, is pretty sad, if we are being honest. We center our social interactions around food that leads to pesticides, medications, gut inflammation, and medical conditions that further contribute to insulin resistance. It’s no wonder we’re gaining weight.
How do we get out of the rut and shed the pounds? We can make it easy for ourselves with these steps:
1. Keep Yourself Accountable
Write down all the reasons you have started and failed before. All the excuses you have given to explain your situation. All the stories you tell when someone asks how much you weigh or how healthy you eat. Now, write solutions for each of these.
2. Mentally Prepare
We are wholly responsible for our health in every way. It reflects our investment in ourselves: our eating habits, exercise habits, and how we take care of ourselves. So, owning that responsibility can seem heavy. But it’s empowering, and it means that YOU ALONE can make the change!
Things must change. In step one, we need an honest assessment of your daily habits. Let’s start with an inventory:
- Track what you eat. Apps like My Fitness Pal can help track calories and macros, so you can honestly assess how much you eat and the overall content. This can give an idea of the changes we need to make.
- Track your activity. There are many ways to measure this, like watches, workout trackers, and pedometers.
- Monitor your blood sugar. You can wear continuous glucose monitors on your arm (they don’t hurt!) and get real-time readings of how your body responds to specific food intakes.
4. Baseline medical evaluation
Get a full lab panel and medical evaluation. Understand if you have inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance and blood sugar issues. If the CRP is elevated, need a full workup to determine if an underlying problem is driving the illness.
- You may want to kick off your journey with an elimination diet, like a 10-day detox or a program like Whole 30.
- Fat often holds toxins, so you need to be conscientious of taking medications that will bind and eliminate those toxins.
5. Evaluate your environment
Look around for an honest assessment of where and how you spend your time. What are the pitfalls? Mine are as follows:
- At work, there used to be food brought in by patients all the time—usually cheap carbs.
- What is your daily routine? Do you state there “isn’t enough time” to be active? If so, track your day and account for every five-minute block.
- Do you have workout equipment in your home? Is it easy to use? Do you need to design a space that inspires you to move?
6. What’s in your kitchen
A thorough clean-up will be necessary to set the stage for success. If you keep hidden candy bars, you leave it up to your willpower. I had a bombtastic health coach that came to my house at the beginning, and these were the trouble spots:
- Sugar – every four grams of sugar is a teaspoon. Our bodies can only process about three to five teaspoons of sugar daily. Look at the label of each item and decide where it fits on that spectrum.
- Inflammatory seed oils – I put most of my salad dressings and sauces into the garbage.
- Out with the old – get rid of anything outdated, freezer burnt, or spoiled. I think we found a spice with a 2009 expiration date on it in my pantry.
So, What Do We Do: Step 2
Now that we have an honest baseline assessment, the next step is finding the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Develop a plan.
1. Stock up on healthy foods. With the rising price of groceries, this will save you money in the long run. Eating at home in portions will reduce the money needed for mindless snacking and dining out frequently.
A few brands that I use to default to:
- Two Good yogurt
- Primal Kitchen
- Anything with a Whole 30 label
2. Practice crowding out. When making a shift in eating, I try not to do everything at once. If I’m detoxing from sugar, I don’t calorie count simultaneously. Start by adding 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Follow this link for some healthy food choices:
3. Decide what activities excite you. Plan it out on your schedule. What time of day works? How will you feel when you complete the activity? What do you want to try? The more activities you explore and try, the more fun you will have along the way!
- Train with Joan
- Spin classes
- Yoga classes
- Personal trainer
4. Learn to say no and set boundaries around personal time. (This is the area I need to stick to most). Do not let the urgencies of others push into your activities.
5. Look for new ways to connect. Instead of lunch, maybe meet over a bike ride, hike, or walk. If you’re going shopping, do a couple of laps around the mall.
6. Plan ahead, map out your week and make a daily and weekly food plan. Stick to it.
7. Track progress: check in daily, weekly, and monthly.
Enjoy your successes!
The James Clinic
Do you need a doctor that listens to you and takes the time to investigate all your symptoms to create an actual action plan? At The James Clinic, we listen to our patients and look at all their symptoms to decide which tests are necessary and which treatments will be best for them.
If you’re interested in putting your health first, schedule a consult today. We can’t wait to help you!