Weight Loss as Easy as 1-2-3
A guide to the 3 stages of the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic plan
Stage One: Orientation continued...
Now is the time to break free from patterns or foods that cause weight gain.
So no more skipping meals! Breakfast really is one of the most important meals
of the day; don't leave home without it. A good strategy is to divide your
eating plan into three or more meals, so you eat nutritiously and often. All
your meals and snacks should contain both lean protein and complex carbs (such
as fruit and yogurt) to help you feel satisfied until the next meal.
Learning to manage hunger is another centerpiece of weight control. You know
what happens when you don't -- you get so ravenous that you eat everything in
sight. Distributing your food intake throughout the day will help you stay away
from the cookie jar. Use the journal to get familiar with your own eating
patterns, and find foods on your plan that help you get through the day without
bingeing. I reach for spicy tomato juice or a hot cup of tea when I feel hungry
between meals. Find the foods that work for you -- and don't forget to plan
nourishing snacks to enjoy during the day.
Since we're changing unhealthy habits, this is also the time to say goodbye
to a sedentary lifestyle. Getting started might simply be moving more during
the day (for example, fitting in 10-minute walks whenever you have time) -- or
it could mean joining a gym for formal workouts. You get to choose. All we ask
is that you commit to do a little something each day, and aim for getting the
national recommendation of 60 minutes a day.
That may sound like a lot, but remember that several short bouts of activity
can add up to your daily total. Just do the best you can, and remember any
activity is better than none! For suggestions tailored to fit your lifestyle
and physical needs, visit our fitness guru Rich Weil
Stage 2: Getting Comfortable
After several weeks of adjusting to your new and improved lifestyle, you
should be developing a healthier relationship with food. Eating nutritious
foods and getting physical activity have become part of your daily routine.
Friends and family have started to notice the new you. Your clothes are
looser, and the numbers on the scale and tape measure are going down. You have
more energy, and you're feeling pretty good. Pat yourself on the back; you
deserve kudos for a job well done!
But even as you congratulate yourself, don't get too comfortable. It
is so easy to slide back into old habits. After an initial burst of energy and
enthusiasm, you can become lax about portion sizes, exercise, and/or
journaling. That's when you hit a weight loss plateau.