The two most common preventable causes of death in the United States are probably two of the hardest health conditions to treat – tobacco abuse and obesity. These two conditions are very complex and multifactorial with psychological and physical components. The saying goes that bad habits are hard to break. Despite knowing the inevitable consequences people continue to engage in inappropriate behaviors. When the habits have addictive, pleasurable, and calming qualities people are more likely to rationalize continuing the bad behavior. When you realize, or more often are told, that you need to lose weight, begin with a few easy steps and build upon these to increase the chance that you will achieve and maintain your goal weight.

Every person starts off walking and progress to running

  1. Keep a diet log

    Most people do not realize how often or how much they eat until they start tracking it. A diet log is also key to identify the quality of the foods you eat, so all snacks must be included as well. Once you are accustomed to keeping your diet log you can start tracking calories for everything that you eat.

  2. Drink plenty of water

    The majority of Americans do not get an adequate amounts of water on a daily basis. Water is a zero calorie filler that can effectively reduce the amount that you eat at each sitting and reduce unhealthy snacking. Be prepared to go to the rest room a little more often, but this should not prevent you from drinking adequate amounts of water.

  3. Eat a salad or piece of fruit before every meal

    As with drinking plenty of water, eating salad or a piece of fruit before each meal can potentially reduce the amount of food you eat and the number of calories. Limit the amount of salad dressing used to keep the calories ingested as low as possible.

  4. Take the long way

    Weight gain and weight loss are the net result of a simple problem – calories ingested minus calories burned. You must perform an amount of activity during the day that exceeds the number of calories ingested in order to lose weight. You can increase your daily activity level simply by choosing a parking space that is farther away at work and whenever you are away from home. Other simple steps to increase your activity are to use the stairs when going up or down one or two floors and use that piece of exercise equipment that you purchased.

  5. Tell people about your plans to lose weight

    There is nothing like being held accountable for achieving goals you have set. A little peer pressure can be a beneficial way to help you move closer to your goals and it does not cost a dime. You can literally have a dozen motivation coaches who can help you stay on track.

Remember that every person starts off walking and progress to running. No one has just started out running. There is a progression of steps that lead to this hallmark achievement and it starts with your first baby steps. Sure they are never pretty, but these first wobbly steps are the first in your journey to a remarkable accomplishment. Whenever we set out to achieve a magnificent goal, we must remember that we have to start somewhere. Once you master these baby steps for weight loss, you can move to more advanced methods to tackle your goals.