1. Understand that this is going to take time. You gained weight over a period of time; you must lose it over a period of time. There is no quick solution to losing weight and keeping it off.
2. Take a week to two weeks to determine your current eating patterns. Figure out how many calories you are eating per day to maintain your current weight. Figure out the ratio between carbohydrates, fat, and protein. For instance, what percentage of your daily intake is carbohydrate? What percent is fat? What percent is protein?
3. Once you have determined your current eating patterns or your “set point” to maintain your current level of weight, you can begin to manipulate your intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat in order to lose weight without feeling deprived.
4. First, try to limit your calories by only 5%. So, if you need to consume 2500 calories to maintain your current weight, try cutting out only 125 calories per day. You won’t lose weight overnight, but you will lose weight over time and you won’t feel hungry, tired or deprived. This needs to be a lifelong commitment, it has to be something you can do every day for the rest of your life. If you try to starve yourself or cut out too much at once, you will eventually fail to keep the weight off. If you do it gradually, you will have a good chance to stick with it and succeed.
5. When you get close to your goal weight you may have to do more than just cut out calories. You may need to increase exercise. You may need to increase your percentage of protein and decrease your percentage of carbohydrates.
For help on making sure you’re in the mood to diet read: Why Diets Make You Crabby by Pauline Wallin, Ph.D
The Nutricounter can help you establish your set point and help you monitor your daily intake of calories, carbs, protein and fat.