Connect with us


What Is the First Step to Losing Weight?



Millions of people would benefit from losing weight and maintaining that healthier weight indefinitely in the future. Unfortunately, many of the people who desire this outcome have no idea where to start and feel overwhelmed by all the elements of nutrition and fitness that they have to learn.

What is the first step to losing weight? And how can you make this easier?

Possible Approaches to Losing Weight

Losing weight, if you’re currently overweight or obese, has countless health benefits. It can make you feel lighter, healthier, and full of energy. It can reduce your likelihood of developing complications like heart disease and diabetes. It can even extend your lifespan!

So where do you start?

There are a few schools of thought on this subject, and all of them are viable. What’s important is that you choose the right approach for you.

  •       Committing. Losing weight isn’t hard from a physical perspective. The fundamentals of weight loss also aren’t hard to understand. What’s hard is developing the mindset and discipline necessary to lose weight, since you’ll have to change your habits, adjust your lifestyle, and commit to new routines for the foreseeable future. You can only move forward with your weight loss plans if you’re truly ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
  •       Gaining understanding. It’s also important to gain an understanding of the dynamics of weight management. That typically means learning a lot about nutrition, exercise, and fitness. Many people are tempted to label foods as good or bad, to be enjoyed or eliminated, respectively, but it will serve you better to have an understanding of the individual elements that make up those foods.
  •       Making substitutions. Most people aren’t successful in losing weight if they have to completely overhaul every aspect of their lifestyle. Instead, it’s much easier to start making simple substitutions for familiar habits you already have. We’ll explore some of these when we expand on this idea.

Some options, like working with a weight loss clinic, can help you pursue these approaches simultaneously. By attending a weight loss clinic, you’ll be committing. That clinic will then help you understand fitness topics like nutrition and exercise and guide you in making substitutions for your own life.

Making the Commitment

For some people, everything starts with committing. Before you can start learning or making substitutions, you need to be focused, motivated, and driven to lose weight.

How you approach this depends on your personality. Some people like motivational boards. Some people work better as part of a group. Some people need to hire coaches or nutritionists to help them stay accountable. Know yourself, and make whatever commitment is necessary to keep yourself on the path to better health.

Gaining Understanding

Next, work on gaining an understanding of health and fitness. Human health is an insanely complex topic, and even top experts still have a lot to learn. But realistically, you can learn some of the most important fundamentals in the span of an afternoon.

For example:

  •       Calories in, calories out. Like it or not, calories are arguably the most important factor to consider when trying to lose weight. They’re not the only factor, and shouldn’t be treated as if they are, but they have a bigger impact on your weight than anything else. If you eat more calories than you expend, you’ll gain weight. If you expend more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight. Consider not only the calories you consume but also the calories you burn through exercise; just don’t restrict your calories too much, as this can be problematic for your health. A small calorie deficit, maintained consistently, is the best approach.
  •       Macronutrition and micronutrition. Calories aren’t everything. You’ll also need to learn about nutrition in the form of macronutrition and micronutrition. Macronutrition focuses on the composition of foods in terms of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and alcohol content. Micronutrition is concerned with the presence of vitamins and minerals in food. Both are important to facilitate weight loss and greater overall health.
  •       Physical exercise. It’s also important to understand the value of exercise in losing weight. Exercise burns calories, builds muscle mass, improves metabolism, and helps you stay in better overall shape. However, different exercises have different strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll likely want to incorporate both cardiovascular and resistance exercises into a consistent routine.

Making Substitutions

Losing weight is much easier when you make simple substitutions for things you already do. For example, you can bike to the store instead of driving to squeeze in incidental exercise.

You can have eggs and oatmeal for breakfast instead of doughnuts or bagels. You can choose to drink relatively low-calorie cocktails instead of calorie-dense beers.

Even small substitutions have the potential to add up to make a huge impact on your weight and sense of well-being. For example, imagine a simple move that helps you reduce calorie consumption by just 200 calories per day; this adds up to 1400 calories per week. In two and a half weeks (with 3500 calories reduced), you should lose a full pound of fat.

Losing weight is complicated and each individual has a unique relationship to the concept, so it’s impossible to define a first step that’s right for everyone. However, if you’re willing to commit, improve your understanding, and start making substitutions, you’ll be well on your way to losing weight in no time.