A Doctor's Guide to Weight Loss

My first piece of advice is, don't do it to fit into that dress or look good for this event, those are nice side effects. Do it for your health and future.
  1. Set a plan.
    You can meet with your doctor to discuss this. First step is checking your BMI, which isn't perfect, it doesn't account for muscle weighing more than fat. I am overweight by BMI standards (definitely not all muscle), but it's the best we've got.
  2. Your goal should be to reduce your weight by 10% over 6 months
    Doing it slowly is the safest way and also most effective— easy come, easy go.
  3. Fad diets are often dangerous or at least have long-term consequences on your metabolism
  4. 3 meals a day with 3 snacks in between. Check guidelines for portion control. The meal should be 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein.
    Good carbs (high fibre) and good fats (HDLs and unsaturated fats). Fruits and veg count as carbs, and they're the best kind. Dinner plate should be 50% vegetables (I know, I'm sorry), 25% grains and 25% protein (meat, poultry, fish or other alternative). White meat is always healthier than red.
  5. Try to have enough essential fatty acids in your diet
    Eggs, nuts, etc.
  6. You will feel hungry for the first week. It'll pass.
  7. 2-3L water per day minimum. More if you're exercising
    Or if you're sick
  8. Try not to eat at night, while you're watching TV or as a means of relaxation
    Guilty, guilty and guilty. It's not because you should stop eating after a certain time, it's more to make food a form of sustenance rather than a habit.
  9. To lose weight you need to have a net loss of calories each day/week. That means either eating less calories or exercising more— preferably both
  10. You need to cut your calorie intake by 500 per week to lose 1 pound.
    Not recommending calorie counting, it's just to give you an idea.
  11. If you don't exercise at all a good place to start is 30 min walk/day 5x a week. You can gradually upgrade to more cardiointensive and eventually should be doing 2-3 strength training sessions a week. 30 minutes 5x/week is all it takes.
    There's a nice app called couch to 5k for this.
  12. Weight loss cleanses and detoxes are not a real thing.
    Cleanses are just Instagram acceptable modes of starvation. Blending fruits gets rid of the fibrous coat and leaves you with the sugary parts. Adding protein/supplements is not a meal replacement and can give you kidney stones in some situations. You'll likely regain the weight once you start eating, at which point your body will be desperately trying to hold on to calories. And one study actually showed cleanses increase your lipid levels.
  13. Motivation should be focusing on the health benefits rather than social rewards.
    Besides increasing risk for diabetes and heart disease, obesity also increases your risk for liver disease (it's just as bad for your liver as heavy alcohol), certain cancers, arthritis, stroke, sleep, poor oxygenation and overall wellbeing when you're older. And higher risk of complications in pregnancy for you and the baby.
  14. Weight loss has the biggest effect on lowering blood pressure after smoking cessation
  15. Your body's instinct is to maintain its current weight, even if that weight is too little or too much. Bear with it as it struggles. And remember, if you try to push it too hard it can react in an unpleasant and potentially harmful way.
  16. Please, please, please don't do anything weird to try to make the process faster.
  17. If after a few weeks of genuine effort you're not getting anywhere, see your doctor. There might be a medical reason, and even if there isn't, they can probably help you.
  18. Remember it's about having a healthy lifestyle, not reaching some target that will magically make you happy.
  19. Ps I have a huge practical exam coming up and have therefore been procrastinating like crazy. This list is my way of convincing myself that li.st is studying. Thanks for participating 🎗