If you’ve found This Authentic Life, the podcast, or the YouTube channel, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve asked this question “How do I know how to lose weight?”
In this article, we’ll look at understanding general and specific weight loss knowledge in order to answer the question “How Do I Know How To Lose Weight?”
We need to dive into some tactical information here, in order to understand how to move forward with your personal weight loss.
You do not need to be a therapist, a nutritionist, or a doctor to learn and implement this in your own life.
I absolutely encourage you to take the information you learn here, or anywhere on the internet, and run it through YOUR personal therapist, nutritionist, and doctor for YOUR specific situation.
I am not a therapist, a nutritionist, or a doctor. I am your weight loss peer, with real-life (this-authentic-life) experience, and I’m bringing that experience to you for the purpose of increasing knowledge.
Also, you can check out the USDA.gov Food Plate, for the “Accepted” general knowledge on what you should be eating.
Please forgive me for my lack of Spicy Positive Intent on this topic, though. I was part of the 90s generation that grew up as lab rats, told over and over that carbs should make up the majority of our meals.
Thanks, Vegetarians-In-Positions-Of-Power-With-An-Agenda… I’ll do what I know works, now. And I do NOT think the food plate reflects it.
I will tell you specifically – if you have a weight problem, go to a nutritionist recommended by a bariatric surgeon’s office.
You don’t have to GO to that bariatric surgeon, just ask where they refer their patients. It’ll give you a good idea of who to look for, because these Nuts are the top of their industry.
How you choose to proceed, is ultimately up to you.
How Do I Know How To Lose Weight?
To know how to lose weight, you need to learn how good nutrition and exercising the body work together with your mind and spirit to turn fuel into energy.
I hope I didn’t lose you at the mind and spirit part, but have you ever faced Head Hunger? Or had a craving for something that food just couldn’t satisfy – like, there’s this gaping hole inside you cannot seem to fill?
The mind and spirit are hungry, too. But we only seem to think we can fuel them with food.
Give yourself a little more credit. We are more complex beings than that. Let’s explore, and expand our knowledge.
Principle 4: Knowledge to Lose Weight
There is so much information out there. You need to first learn some of it, then second, figure out what to do with it in order to get any value out of it.
Look at you, knocking out Principle 4, by reading and increasing your learning. Good job!
I am not a therapist, a doctor, or a nutritionist. I do not have the same schooling as those in those professions. But, I have acquired so much knowledge in my quest toward weight loss cannot be discounted just because I do not have an education in this specific area.
(I do have a college education, though.)
If I were trying to diagnose you, or create a specialized meal plan with specific calorie recommendations for you, I’d need to be licensed to do so.
Your health is not something to leave to some random person on the internet.
I understand the weird line that I’m walking here in sharing what I know, and this is one of the reasons why gaining knowledge about weight loss is so hard. Who do you trust?
Why is figuring out how to lose weight?
Figuring out how to lose weight is so hard because the general knowledge available to the regular person keeps changing.
The specialized knowledge available to the regular person is expensive, and has many roadblocks (i.e. requiring a referral from a general doctor to see a specialist; tests to determine which part of the body is not working right).
Each individual’s body has unique requirements that need to be met in order for the healthy balance needed for weight loss to occur, so general knowledge isn’t always enough.
On top of this, weight loss is a money making topic. So, grabbing your attention with gimmicks and promises of fast results brings in dollars.
Add all that fluff to the general knowledge problem, and the confused masses are a logical result. Even better if you’re confused, cause there’s a cream you can buy for that!
We’re still left with the question “How do I figure out what my body needs to lose weight?”
I’m starting to sound cynical, so it’s time to move forward.
But, this is not a commentary on our current health care system or the weight loss industry. This is just how knowledge works.
There is general, high level stuff. And there is low level detail, that takes time effort and specialization to first, know is there, and then second, know how to analyze.
It is up to you to be your biggest advocate, and to increase your own understanding and knowledge. You should do the general homework on your topic, and then go to the specialist to get their focused knowledge.
Never stop your own learning, just because someone else has a doctorate and “Knows All The Things.” You can know stuff, too. It’s allowed.
Let’s cut out the fluff and confusion in some general and specific areas, and see if we can jump start your weight loss.
If not, a visit to a good nutritionist is never wasted time or money.
If I am struggling to lose weight,
do I just not know enough about weight loss?
General Knowledge For How To Lose Weight
General knowledge for weight loss is so vague, as to almost be unhelpful. Let’s take the general knowledge that we’re given when looking up weight loss, and get really specific.
The specifics are what you’re looking for in order to achieve actual weight loss. So, here’s the general list:
- Eat a rainbow of colors at every meal
- Keep a food diary, and track your scale
- Get regular exercise and live an active lifestyle
- Don’t drink your calories
- Portion control
- Practice mindful eating
- Control your triggers
- Meal Plan for Success
- Build a support network
- Stay Positive
These seem so helpful, right? Until you try to do them, and realize you need more information. Then, a simple list just isn’t enough. We need some specific knowledge now.
Too General: Eat a rainbow of colors at every meal
More Specific: Choose meals where protein is the star, vegetables are the supporting characters, and you only cook with the fats and sugars. Leave off the carbs during the weight loss phase, reintroduce during weight management.
You should still have some fats and sugars. They keep the pipes running, and are the most efficient energy producers. Get rid of them altogether, and you’ll find yourself too exhausted to work out.
If you cook with them, they create magic in your meals to make the other ingredients more effective. And you don’t have to feel like you’re restricting anything.
Related: How To Stop Failing At Weight Loss
Too General: Keep a food diary, and track your scale
More Specific: Learn how to track your own data, and then how to analyze your own data
Understanding that keeping a food diary and tracking your weight isn’t an admission of guilt is the first step. Then, you need to know how to actually track and analyze this data.
Too General: Get Regular Exercise and Live an Active Lifestyle
More Specific: Your ideal workout rate is anything done 4 or more times a week, for 30 minutes or more, at 70% maximum heart rate.
Living an active lifestyle means choosing moving around over sitting down (i.e. jumping on the trampoline with a toddler instead of watching movies inside. Walking to the park and sitting under a tree to read instead of sitting in your living-room.) This is how to know how to lose weight.
Related: How To Stop Failing At Weight Loss
Too General: Don’t Drink Your Calories
More Specific: Drink water, sugar-free flavored water, sugar-free hot chocolate, sugar-free lemonade, sugar-free caffeine free tea, or decaffeinated coffee to hydrate your body.
Caffeine is a stimulant you need to avoid for weight loss. Caffeine and sugar put together is a mixture you really need to stay away from.
I would categorize sugar-free soda as a treat, even though it’s calorie free. I think it is too closely tied to regular soda, and most of us have some sort of bad behavior with soda that it’s best to cut out during weight loss.
Re-introduce once you’re in the maintenance phase.
Milk and coffee creamer have sugars in them, so use them with caution. I love to drench my coffee in creamer, so this is really a hard one personally. It’s like I know how to lose weight, I just can’t give up the coffee creamer to do it.
Too General: Portion Control
More Specific: Understand how big of a portion you really need, and then learn how to have self-control over food to stop eating more.
Your portion size should really be either the size of your hand, or half the size of your hand. Eating in this way, size times a day, every three hours, will allow you to remain full on the reduced calories weight loss requires.
Too General: Practice Mindful Eating
More Specific: Mindful eating means observing meal times, and then paying attention to your food as you eat.
Listen to your body. Chew your food. Pay attention to the flavors you can taste, and how they blend together. Do not rush through the process just to get through it.
Stop chewing gum as often. When our jaws are continuously moving, we have a hard time not eating just for something to do.
Too General: Control Your Triggers
More Specific: When you’ve lost control, and you’ve eaten something you didn’t plan to, look back.
What happened just before you made that choice? If you’re using my system for tracking your scale, you might be able to quickly see at a glance.
If not, you’ve got to do some time traveling. Go backward, and think about what caused you to lose it. Follow the steps in How Do I Have Self-Control Over Food so you don’t trigger yourself again, and follow the clues.
Recognize the same things that happen over and over again, and make a plan for what to do.
Too General: Meal Plan for Success
More Specific: Check out the post Planning For Weight Loss Success – Think and Lose Weight Easily: Principle 6
Too General: Build Your Support Network
More Specific: Re-Read Principle 3 – Autosuggestion for more detail on building your support network.
Too General: Stay Positive
More Specific: Re-Read Principle 3 – Autosuggestion for more detail on spicy positive intent.
If you’ve read through this, I bet you’re feeling pretty good about the knowledge portion and maybe have some answers for How do I figure out what my body needs to lose weight? If not, reach out about what you’d like to learn more about – specifically!
Keep yourself going.
Happy weight loss <3