Weight loss is nothing short of vital for so many people, that it’s not enough to make it just a priority, it’s got to be a project, too. Healthy weight loss takes guidance and measurement to give form to function. And, for the many people who think they can go it alone, it’s worth having a look at what we’re up against.

Food isn’t just fuel; it’s comfort and sociability. Even a bit of identity is wrapped up in what we eat, as our idea of a meal is passed down through generations. Despite that heritage factor, there’s a real wrinkle in what we face today, diet-wise – fast food restaurant locations have more than doubled since the 1970s. It’s not just the access, but also the attraction of fat-rich and sugar-rich foods that challenges our resolutions like never before.

What About the Math?

Although weight loss is more than math, the math behind weight loss can put the task in perspective. We have to trim 3,500 calories to lose one pound. So, to lose one to two pounds a week means eating 500 to 1,000 calories less per day. You can see what we’re up against. Thirty-five hundred calories sound like a lot and one or two pounds sounds like a little. Dialing up our exercise can also help create this deficit if we do it sensibly and avoid the soreness or injury that can cause people to quit.

That’s the fundamental calculation. How we go about this is where the variety sets in. So many foods to choose from; so many ways to exercise. The good news is how many paths we can take to achieve this, but the other side of the coin is choosing a path that we can stick to, because this is a change we’re making in our lives, not a quick fix.

It can be really motivating to see some pounds drop off fast. Cutting salt and starches can reduce fluid retention and make that first week or two seem even more productive. But it’s not realistic to think that pace of loss will keep going unless you take drastic measures. And drastic measures are temporary.

More effective is a whole-person approach that begins with “reflect, replace, and reinforce.” The CDC suggests we reflect on all our eating habits, good and bad; replace our unhealthy eating habits; and reinforce our healthier eating habits, both old and new.

How to Start – or Re-Start

The CDC has some tips, and there you can begin to line up your sources for information and support. Making a commitment that your family and friends are in on can be a help, but sometimes those close support sources come with their own complications. A professional point of view can make the difference between trying a weight loss program and succeeding at it. Just call us at 843-815-6468.