How to Start Losing Weight When You're Obese

Being overweight and obese can be challenging. Aside of feeling uncomfortable about how you look and feel, it can take a toll on your physical and emotional health as well. There may be several things holding you back from losing weight; starting the weight loss process is the first step to better health.

A healthy meal of chicken and brown rice. (Image: vikif/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Visit your doctor and get a complete health and wellness checkup to assess your basic health issues. Vital signs including resting heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure and weight can give your doctor a general idea whether further testing is required. He may order blood tests to check cholesterol levels and do a comprehensive metabolic panel to check for blood abnormalities. He also will go over with you the best diet and exercise program based on your health condition and needs.

Step 2

Create a diet that works for you. While there are hundreds of diet types available, follow USDA recommended nutritional guidelines. USDA also gives tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Add whole grains into your diet, eat lean protein, choose fruits and vegetables to fill out your meals, eat calcium-rich foods and avoid processed foods.

Step 3

Move your body -- you may have to take it slow to get started. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that healthy adult should engage in 30 minutes of intense aerobic exercise daily up to 5 days a week. Start of small by walking around your home, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking the dog and engaging in more outdoor activities such as gardening or playing with your kids.

Step 4

Replace your bad eating habits with good ones. This includes grilling your food instead of frying, eating small meals throughout the day, eliminating late-night snacks and soda, and including more fiber, fresh greens and fish in your diet.

Step 5

Track your exercise and food intake. Think of it as a journal. This will reveal your weaknesses and strengths. It also can help you keep track of plateaus in your weight loss and identify what works for you when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals.

Tip

Expect to safely lose no more than 2 pounds per week, anything more than that could mean you are starving your body of vital nutrients and calories.

Ask your doctor how many calories you should consume per day. The average amount is between 1,800 and 2,500 for an adult.

Keep total fat grams between 25 percent and 35 percent of your total caloric intake. The Cleveland Clinic recommends 56 to 77 grams of fat per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Warning

If you experience any pain or discomfort, take a break and stop aerobic activity. If you have sharp or sudden chest pain, seek immediate emergency help.

Avoid foods that are white such as sugar, white bread and sauces – they are often starchy, high in carbohydrate count and sugars.

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