Getting Started: Follow the Basics

Jenny's Journey

When you are obese, getting started with lifestyle changes is very difficult. It feels like you are doing everything wrong, so how can you narrow it down and focus on what to do first? 

I utilized a few basic rules when starting my journey, and it's the same advice I give to patients:

  1. Drink only water. Cut out all other beverages including all soda (diet, too!), juice, coffee shop drinks (check the calories on your next mocha or latte) and alcohol. Now, there is a time for indulgence of all of these - who doesn't like a good cocktail? But, as a general rule, the beverage you should drink 95% of the time is water. Aim for a minimum of 0.5 ounces of water for every pound you weigh - that's 100 ounces a day for a 200 pound person.
  2. Start with basic, low impact exercises and build up from there. If you are obese and a couch potato, start walking. Starting with just 15 minutes during the day and increasing over time will have a big impact in the long run. The stairs are your best friend to slip exercise into your regular routine. Start with just one or two floors a day and add on more flights as you can. Alternatively, If you can't walk or take the stairs, then try water aerobics or swimming.
  3. Cut out fast food and watch your portions. Fast food is obviously a huge source of low nutrition, high calorie food, and eating as little fast food as possible is a game changer in terms of making a healthy diet. 

Along with this, even if you can't dive into a huge diet overhaul, just start to eat smaller portions. The USDA has great information on this and is a great place to get started.  

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