6 Guiding Principles for Successful Weight Loss


1. Start the Day with Protein and Calories. 

A study done in Wisconsin with college students demonstrated that those who start the day off with carbohydrates eat on average 1,100 more calories a day than those who eat protein. Some examples include eggs, nuts, low-fat cheese, and lean sausage. The protein calories tend to jump-start your metabolism and keep you from getting hungry.

2. Avoid Carbohydrate Calories

Dr. Atkins had it right, for the most part. Our bodies will preferentially burn carbohydrate calories if we feed the body these types of calories. We want to shift our metabolism to burn excess fat stores. By depriving the body of the carbohydrates, the body's metabolism changes and looks for other sources of fuel, such as fat stores. Breads, beer, pasta, starches, sweets, and processed sugars are what get you.

3. Hydrate Your Body Each Day

The fat cell in the body is one of the most active. In order for the fat cells to release stores of energy for the body to use, they must be well hydrated. It is best if one slowly hydrates the body by drinking small, frequent volumes of water. For example, if a person should drink a volume of ounces equal to their body with daily. 

4. Be a Grazer, Not a Gorger

Do not starve yourself all day so you can eat all of your calories in one sitting. Your body will outsmart you and slow the metabolic rate, as it thinks you are starving it. This will cause your body to store calories as fat. You are far better off eating smaller volumes more frequently. This keeps the body's metabolic rate up and helps you burn calories. Again, avoid those carbohydrates when snacking.

5. Eat Lean Meats and Grilled or Broiled, Not Fried or Baked

Making healthier choices by eating leaner meats, such as wild game, chicken, fish, turkey, lean ground beef and steak, will go a long way to helping one lose weight. Grilling or boiling provides a method of preparing the food with the lowest calorie and fat content.

6. Get Regular Exercise

Exercise helps with losing weight and maintaining weight loss. Start slow and build up gradually to avoid injury. Walking, biking, swimming, and rowing are some examples of appropriate exercise. Light weight training can also be helpful as muscle mass requires more energy to sustain. This allows one's metabolic rate to stay turned on and burn more calories. I recommend a minimum of 20-30 minutes of exercise daily. There are some ways to build exercise into your daily routine by taking the stairs (not elevators), parking in the back of parking lots, and walking the extra distance to get to the building. Be creative.

*There is no substitute for patience and perseverance when it comes to weight loss. I am confident that if you commit and stick to these principles, you can lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.