By Megan Zakarewicz, DO, Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss
Many of us eat less and move more, but still can’t lose weight. But there may be a reason. The difference between achieving your weight loss goals and missing the mark comes down to this: attention to details.
In my experience, sometimes people struggle with translating big-picture ideas (“I want to lose 25 pounds”) into a set of specific details. So, let’s review how to take those big ideas and translate them into actionable, achievable goals.
Big Picture Idea #1 – Eat Less
What this should mean: Eat the right amount to produce weight loss. Understand your body’s caloric needs. You can use an online tool to help you calculate your body’s requirements, also known as a basal metabolic rate. Next, log the foods you eat to understand how many calories you eat in a day. Again, an online tool or food logging app can help. Lastly, decide how to add or subtract calories to meet your daily requirements.
Big Picture Idea #2 – Move More
What this should mean: Make a specific plan for exercise. Make it as detailed as possible. At Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss, I emphasize the idea of SMART goals—those that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timed. Ask yourself: What exercises will I do? How many minutes each time? How many days per week? What time each day? After you determine what makes sense for you, write down your goal and hang it where you can see it. Set a time limit—say one to two weeks—and plan to check in with yourself at that time and readjust your goal if needed.
Big Picture Idea #3 – Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
What this should mean: First, understand the building blocks of a healthy meal. Ideally, you should eat vegetables, protein and grains at each meal. Next, make sure you eat the right amounts of the right foods. In our practice, we work with patients to help them understand healthy portions. For example, if you are eating chicken, broccoli and rice for dinner, the portion sizes matter. Changing those portion sizes makes all the difference. A meal of 2 cups of broccoli, 4 oz. of chicken and a half-cup of rice is very different from a bowl of rice with a few crowns of broccoli and some chicken.
Successfully losing weight is a challenge for many. Understanding how to translate your big-picture ideas into specific details can be a game changer in helping you succeed. If you’d like help in getting started on your weight loss journey, we are here to help.
About the author: Megan Zakarewicz, DO, is a primary care physician with certification in obesity medicine. She leads the Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss program. She is accepting new patients for in-person or telemedicine appointments. For more information, call Grand View Health at 215-453-4100 to schedule an appointment.