Weight Loss Steps and Ranking of Importance
Nancy Clark's book, Sport Nutrition Guidebook is a great resource for anyone interested in nutrition and how to manipulate it to fit your needs. In this work, she goes into detail on losing weight the healthy way, and offers 10 Steps to achieve your goals; however, I did not agree with the order and why.
These are the steps, and the order in which I placed them:
- Think Fit and Healthy
- Make Sleep a Priority
- Make a realistic Eating Plan
- Write It Down
- Schedule Your Exercise
- Avoid Temptation
- Enjoy Your Favorite Foods
- Front Load Your Calories
- Keep a List of Nonfood Activities
- Eat Slowly
While all of these steps are important, I strongly believe this order ranks importance in a logical way for the following reasons:
- · If you aren’t confident and imagining yourself in the fit lifestyle you want, nothing else will follow. The saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink” applies here. If you do not have a motivated and healthy mindset, how will anything else become accomplished?
- · Making sleep a priority goes hand in hand with healthy thinking. To lead a fit and healthy life and maintain motivation and focus to lose the weight you’d like to, your body needs adequate rest. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make rash/impulsive decisions. When losing weight, you’ll need your brain power at full capacity to overcome all kinds of temptation to not lose weight; sleep restores brain functioning, increasing mental focus the next day.
- · Making a realistic eating plan makes the top three for my list simply because it will keep you on track for weight loss. If you do not plan out your meals/calorie intakes, you will be more likely to snack from boredom. Knowing when you will eat next, and approximately how much may also make the mental aspect of weight loss/motivation easier. Making a plan also helps you ensure that you are not making your body susceptible to starvation or too little of any nutrient.
- · Writing down your eating plan, as well as the feelings towards your weight loss will not only give you a planning tool, but a way to look back over your progress. Just as important as losing weight, self-image and confidence are imperative to a fit lifestyle.
- · Scheduling exercise, writing it down, and making a realistic eating plan all go hand in hand for me. If you have a plan that intertwines nutrition and exercise, you’ll be ready to take action and accomplish your goals. It is hard to accomplish any long term goals without a solid plan; why would weight loss be any different?
- · The rest of the steps are ones I would categorize as “helper tools” to weight loss. They are at the bottom of my list because without the above mentioned steps, these wouldn’t be quite as useful. After making a plan for your weight loss, you can pinpoint foods that are hard for you to say “no” to, or situations where you eat more than you should without really thinking. Once these are figured out, you can add to your plan on how to handle these. For example, if chocolate and parties are your temptations, find a way to add small amounts of chocolate chips to your morning parfait (enjoy your favorite foods), and to ask what will be served at the party, and plan accordingly. Front loading calories will help you feel full at the start of the day, and will help you feel energized enough to exercise or prepare healthy foods throughout the remainder of the day. This is a helpful tool that can be included in planning as well.
- · Keeping a list of nonfood activities is also a helpful tool in weight loss, but is at the bottom of my list because I think it is just that: a helpful tool. I would attach this in the planning after a basic plan for weight loss has been written out. Eating slowly is a helpful tool that may work for some people. My boyfriend and I have used a similar tool; we eat our planned meal, and if we still feel a bit hungry afterwards, we sip on hot tea or water and wait 20 minutes. The principle is the same, but this option works better for us.
Clark, N. (2014). Nancy Clark's sports nutrition guidebook.