The First Step Is Finding The Right First Step

I’m usually the last person people who are very driven to see change in body composition and weight loss come to see because they know that I am not going to give them a magic fix or a fad diet to follow that might work temporarily. Usually by the time people get to me they have gone up and down in weight several times, they have tortured themselves to lose a few pounds, only to realize the diet lifestyle is too radical to make sustainable, long-term change. Once they are ready to make real, lasting, sustainable change and build real, functional skills when it comes to nutrition… then I get a phone call asking for help and guidance.

Where do you start? Well, we start with the basics. What are you eating? What do you like to eat? What does your lifestyle allow when it comes to making changes in nutrition and exercise? What are your long term goals? What has worked in the past and what hasn’t and why? 

Once I can look into your daily routine, your likes and dislikes, what motivates you and why… then we can begin to work on something that works specific to you! We find starting place specific to you.  

Most people are surprised by where we start with nutrition. Often times, it’s not with carbs, protein, and fat. It can sometimes start with simple habits that allow us to teach you the skills you will really need to succeed with losing weight and being healthy. Most of the time, these skills aren’t about nutrition to start with. They are more about slowing down, being mindful, and understanding what works for you. 

Imagine a mom who has tried every fad diet and can’t keep weight off, she is busy with kids and family, maybe even working part time, she doesn’t cook much anymore because there is no time, and her stress level is high all the time… I'm sure some of you can relate. It wouldn't make sense to have this person start by counting calories and limiting carb intake. Think of throwing that stress on top of the stress of everything else she has going on. 

A better starting place might be working on creating some dedicated time by just writing down what she is eating each day - a simple task, no rules on what to eat or not eat, just write it down. This helps with two things. First, it forces her to slow down and actually think about what she ate that day. Most of us are so busy we don’t even think about what we are eating; we just eat it. Second, this provides some instant feedback on what might be a good place to begin to make changes. “Wow, I didn’t realize that I was eating off the kids breakfast plate in the morning; waffles, yogurt, and bagels. I just thought I skipped breakfast.” This starting place can be a good one since it gives us some good insight on what to work on next. 

The process is no different than learning any other skill that is sustainable.  Start with the simple things that need to be cleaned up, find a good coach who can hold you accountable and give you guidance on next steps, work on developing one skill at a time, and be prepared for the long haul.

How do you approach your diet when you want to lose weight?

Maybe I can help!

Aaron Leventhal