7 Things You Can Do to Lose 10 Pounds
Posted 1/30/2017 by UHBlog
Losing weight is one thing, but keeping it off can be a challenge. Just ask the millions of people who make the same weight loss resolution each new year.
Whether your goal is to lose 10 pounds, 100 pounds or somewhere in between, an effective weight loss strategy takes time and discipline, says family medicine specialist Myra Mark, MD
“It involves changing a behavior, much like quitting smoking or taking your medications,” Dr. Mark says. “It's really hard to change set behaviors.”
To be long-lasting, these seven things can help you lose – and keep off – weight:
- Set goals. “People who really want to lose weight – and who have the most success – usually have goals in mind,” Dr. Mark says.
The more specific, the better.
“When patients tell me they want to lose weight or get healthier, my general approach is to dive into a conversation with them to learn why they want this,” she says. “My experience is that if they really know or have a specific reason – such as they want to feel better – they're more committed.”
- Write it down. Take time to reflect on your reasons for wanting to lose weight, then write them down.
“When I discuss weight loss with patients, our conversation centers on their goals and what is reasonable and achievable,” Dr. Mark says. “We write down their reasons for wanting to lose weight. If I learn that they’ve tried to lose weight in the past, we talk about what didn’t work or why they didn’t keep the weight off. Maybe things happening in their life caused them to get off-course, or they got sick. We look at the circumstances surrounding their past efforts.”
- Establish a timeframe. Use a set period of time and break weight loss goals into measurable increments. For instance, if you want to lose 10 pounds in six weeks, at three weeks into it, you should have lost five pounds. If not, make adjustments.
“Most people know what they need to do or are willing to do to take off weight in three weeks,” she says. “If they aren't meeting their goal, they can look at what the barriers are and take action.”
- Manage your expectations. Take into account your age, fitness level, lifestyle, commitments and overall health, which can impact your weight loss and exercise plans.
In many cases, if you've been inactive a long time, Dr. Mark recommends getting a health screening so you begin with good baseline data. Among other things, the screening should measure your blood pressure, cholesterol (including total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides), resting heart rate, body mass index and blood glucose level.
- Be accountable. Whether it's a friend, group or your doctor, accountability is key to your success. For some people, being accountable means tracking exercise or participating in regular workouts with a buddy. Other people find that reporting their weight to someone keeps them on track.
“If I'm going to be the person who is going to make a patient accountable, they will come in or call me to report how they're doing,” Dr. Mark says.’
- Watch portions. Try using a smaller plate to manage the quantity you eat. Or use apps to help you record the meal to determine your daily calorie consumption.
- Get active. “I think increasing physical activity is key,” Dr. Mark says. “It's one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off.”
An app Dr. Mark likes – and uses – is called the “7 Minute Workout.”
“I'm busy and I have kids, and this app helps me to fit in exercise,” she says.
Myra Mark, MD is a family medicine specialist at University Hospitals Fairlawn Health Center. You can request an appointment with Dr. Mark or any doctor online.