Five Weight Loss Tips that have Nothing to do with Exercise

Dr. Beth Thomas talks about the five weight loss tips that have nothing to do with exercise

As a busy pharmacist with limited time and energy, here is what you need to know: When it
comes to weight loss, the power of food is much greater than the power of exercise. Thus, your
efforts need to be primarily focused on getting consistent with food choices that support your
weight loss goals and fit your lifestyle.

Exercise has many health benefits, but its ability to help you shed pounds is minimal, at best. In
fact, sometimes, you may get hungrier and eat more when you’re exercising excessively on your
weight loss journey. Depending on the quality and quantity of that extra food, you may end up
gaining weight (body fat), instead of losing it!

So, here are five things that you can do to start permanently transforming your weight without
stepping foot in the gym:

1. Check your records.
Do you know what you’re eating and drinking each day? Since nutrition is the biggest factor for weight loss, you’ve got to know what you’re consuming to figure out what’s working and what’s not working so you can get the results that you want. Trying to make decisions without data is a recipe for frustration! Keeping a food diary in an app, snapping pictures of your meals, and logging your meals in a voice note on your phone are just a few of the ways that you can keep a record of what you’re eating and drinking. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Takeaway: If you’re not currently doing this, commit to keeping a food log of what you eat and drink for at least one day this week. You can gradually increase the number of days you log each week.
2. Check your water intake.
How many ounces are you getting per day? Your recommended water target can vary; check with your personal healthcare provider for individual recommendations. Staying sufficiently hydrated each day may help you feel fuller longer and promote regular bowel movements. Takeaway: If you’re not drinking enough water, start gradually increasing your intake. Set a goal of increasing your water intake 8 ounces at a time, until you’re consistently hitting your recommended target. Every extra ounce of water is a win!
3. Check the quality of your food.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables are you eating every day? I tell my clients to aim for a fruit or vegetable (filler) with every meal or snack that they eat, even if they’re eating pizza or some other less-than-ideal choice. Many fruits and vegetables have high fiber and water content, along with brain-healthy nutrients. This means that focusing on fillers may promote feelings of fullness, regular bowel movements, and positive mental health. Takeaway: If you’re not including a filler (fruit or vegetable) in every meal, start working on that today. Set a goal of including one filler in at least one meal every day for the next week, and then gradually build up your filler intake, week by week.
4. Check the quantity of your food.
Do you know how much food that you’re eating every day? Even if you’re eating what you consider to be the “right” foods, portion size can affect your weight loss results. My clients all “track” their portion sizes in some way, either with my special BMT Portion Control Method (that just involves using your hand) or with kitchen tools like a measuring cup or food scale. We use that information about the amounts they’re eating to help them make tweaks so they can keep seeing results. Takeaway: If you’re not “tracking” your portions in some way, start today. Commit to recording the amount of food and drink you consume for every meal and snack for at least one day this week.
5. Check your mindset.
What words are you telling yourself on your weight loss journey? Your words and thoughts are just as important as what you eat and drink. Continued criticism of yourself will do nothing but hinder you! Recognize that consistency is not perfection. Being consistent means doing at least one thing every day, no matter how “small” it may seem, to move yourself forward. Takeaway: Start working on shifting your mindset to look for a win to celebrate each day, even if it seems minor or insignificant.

*Nothing in the preceding article should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your personal healthcare provider for individual recommendations.

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