How to Start Losing Weight

If you're wondering how to start losing weight, here's some good news: you can do it with small steps and simple changes. Although such steps may seem tediously “unsexy,” they’ll also get you going in a way that you can actually sustain over the long haul. But before you start with all that, do you need to cut yourself a break?

Here's what I mean. If you're berating yourself or your body (and maybe you're not) because it’s not six feet tall and/or a size zero, it's an exercise in futility. Plus, it makes you feel bad. So, however frustrated you may sometimes feel about the way you think you look, try to lighten up about all this.

Sure, go ahead with your plans to start losing weight. Sure, start toning up the ole bod—but be reasonable with yourself. If your body type is the human equivalent of a cute pony or an awesome Clydesdale, for example, don’t try to turn yourself into a racehorse. To carry out—and maintain!—a physical shift of such magnitude is probably unrealistic (and also unwise).

But that doesn't mean you can't be equally stunning as who you are. So, my vote goes to working with (and appreciating) what you’ve got. Just a suggestion, okay? Even if it did sound like I just jammed my Bossy Hat on.

So, How Do You Do That?

You do it by making a few small changes: nothing heroic, just some simple measures that will in time create a nice “snowball” effect for you. Maybe start with Dr. Oz’s suggestion to eliminate a mere 150 calories a day. [Made during January 2010, in a Sunday magazine section and no doubt many times since.]

Even that modest daily drop of 150 calories can allow you to lose a pound a month. That’s 12 pounds a year—painlessly. So, what simple thing can you do to ice 150 calories a day—walk for 30 minutes, perhaps? Since humans are said to burn roughly 5 calories for every minute of walking...

  Not a Walker Wanna-Be?

So, okay, what if you forego the daily chocolate bar/cookie or the mid-morning muffin? If you have those. Or, have one glass of wine at night instead of two. (Or two instead of three: you know who you are.) And maybe start adding more veggies to your diet, particularly the green and leafies. Those do a great job nutritionally and will also add fiber to your diet; plus, they'll likely give you a better sense of fullness than many other foods. (Check out this page for more on integrating veggies into a weight-loss program.)

Just take the whole process
by degrees. Make a single change—cutting down some on carbohydrates, for example. (See Ditching the Carbs.) And then make another and another. No need to undertake some big ordeal when nice and easy can work just as well IF you take the steps and make the changes.

Why not start today? Make one change, however slight, and then stick with it. If you want faster progress, add something else as well. Just do it: take some action, however modest, toward that spiffed-up You'll likely discover that it's a great way to start losing weight.


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Please understand that the material at this site is NOT medical advice, as I am neither doctor nor nutritionist. What I am is merely someone who's lived successfully on a vegetarian diet for many decades...and I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian gradually. Do check with your doctor, though, if you're considering big changes to your own diet. Also, be sure to find a dependable source of Vitamin B12.

Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
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