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Seven Steps To Reach Your Weight Loss Goal

"I finally realized I don't have a clear-cut goal. And I'm not making any progress..."

Step one: Decide to do something about it

woman looking in full-length mirror

I'll tell you a bit about my story, because if you have trouble with your weight it has something to do with you.

While growing up I was always the fat kid in school.

I was teased.

My pants were always so tight I couldn't get them buttoned.

I overate on junk food. I lost weight at times but it always came back.

I didn't like the way I felt. I didn't like the way I looked.

And one day I decided to do something about it.

Now, that is step one: Decide to do something about it.

Step two: Investigate and find what works

Well, where do you start? Information about weight loss is a lot like information about money. Sure, there's a lot of it. But how helpful is it?

Everywhere you look -- talk about money, money, money. And everywhere you look -- people, and governments, swimming in debt.

Same thing with weight loss goals. Everywhere you look -- talk about weight loss. And everywhere you look -- people getting fatter all the time.

So, if you don't want to be broke your whole life you shouldn't take advice from people who profit from you being broke (like the government, the banks, credit card companies.)

And if you don't want to be fat all your life you are going to need to cut through the nonsense and find the truth.

So, step two: Investigate and find what works.

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So, what works for weight loss?

Back to my story. I tried lots of different things. Like super low calorie diets. It worked great. I lost the weight.

But when I stopped I gained it all back, and even more.

I ate a vegetarian diet. But I wasn't a very smart vegetarian at first, and I still had a big appetite. So I ate too many carbs.

I exercised and I got stronger. But I stayed overweight. Not terribly, but enough. I was still pudgy.

When does losing weight start to make sense?

Then in medical school at the University of Washington we had an excellent course in nutrition. It was one of the first nutrition courses taught in a medical school in the United States.

Now, nutrition is a real subject, real chemistry, real physics. It's how the cells work, how the hormones work, how muscle is made, how fat is stored and all the rest. It was a start at least. It got me on the road to finding what was fact and what was fiction.

But I still didn't quite have everything I needed, although I was starting to put things together. I still had some trouble with my weight, but it was better.

Separating the good from the bad

I was raised in a culture where the majority of the people are overweight -- which is the United States of America right now. And in that culture it is hard to find out what it true and what is not true.

I was practicing medicine and I continued to research. I read every medical article I could find that had to do with weight loss and I applied what I learned in my practice.

Some of the articles were excellent, with good, usable information. Most were not so good. Even in medical journals you can find things that make no sense. So I continued to sift out the good from the bad.

And over the next 20 years I was able to piece together a program that works. I understood what foods were good and which were bad, how much to eat, when to eat, how much exercise was needed and what kind of exercise was best, and many other things.

These are the basic principles. These are the things that affect your weight -- whether you lose weight, reach your weight loss goal and keep it off or stay overweight and unhealthy.

This is still step two, Investigate and find what works.

Step three: Individualize to maximize results

So, there are principles that work for weight loss. They have been sifted out from the trivial and the useless and the harmful.

But there isn't a one-size-fits-all plan that will work for everyone. Sure, the principles work. But the principles are information. But the application of the principles requires real wisdom.

You must find what will work for you. Because what one person can do another person cannot do.

So those principles have to be applied on an individual basis. And that is why it is Step 3: individualize.

A 60-year-old woman who is 150 pounds (68 kilos) overweight with bad knees and a bad heart can't do the same exercise as a 20-year-old man who just wants to lose his belly fat. And some people can't exercise at all, but they can all still lose weight.

And what one person will do another person will not do. Let's say you were raised in Italy. Are you going to give up mama's pasta? No, you will not, no matter what the experts say about carbohydrates and weight loss.

So we have step three: Individualize to maximize results.

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.

Frank A. Clark

Step four: Ignore the distractions

I remember what my mother went through when I was growing up. She always had trouble with her weight. It was a very big problem for her. She worried about it. She worked at it. She tried everything.

Aversion therapy where they make you eat cookies until you're sick, so you won't want to eat them again. Little diet candies, just a tiny bite, which were supposed to suppress your appetite. Hypnosis. Miracle diets.

She used machines with vibrating belts to jiggle the fat away. And machines with rollers to roll the fat away. And a thousand other things.

Did it help her reach her weight loss goal? Of course not.

Diet gimmicks and fads don't work. They violate the basic chemistry and physics of weight loss. Or at least they try to. They are just distractions, leading you from the things that would really help you be successful.

Remember this the next time you go through the checkout counter and the magazines are screaming "lose 18 pounds in 2 weeks and never be hungry!!! With three exclamation points. The more exclamation points the less likely to work. Really, no one loses any weight and keeps it off and is never hungry.

So, step four: Ignore the distractions.

Step five: Set a realistic goal

It's not important for you to lose 10 pounds this weekend -- or 20 pounds this month -- or even 50 pounds on the latest fad diet -- if you're just going to gain it all back.

What matters is what happens next year and the year after that.

Losing weight and keeping it off is tough. Simple fact.

Most doctors have just about given up. They've started telling their patients that reaching their goal weight is unreasonable. Have you heard that?

Instead, they say lose a few pounds. Ten pounds, maybe 15. It will help your diabetes. Your blood pressure. Your heart.

Well, look, if you're facing real life-threatening and life-shortening problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, you need results.

You know how many people can take off 10-15 pounds and then keep it off? Not many. The vast majority just gain it back.

How about real results?

So who keeps the weight off? It's those people who reach their goal weight. Those are the people that keep if off. This isn't a trivial point. It's one of the key points in the entire field of weight loss.

You want a real miracle? Then set a goal weight. Where you'll be happy with the way you look. Where you'll be fit and healthy. And then work toward that goal, sensibly, consistently, until you reach it.

So this is step five: Set a realistic goal.

Step six: Decide to reach the goal you have set

Do you know what determination is? It means really deciding to do something. It means that you've made your mind up to do it, no matter what.

Lots of people leave this step out. They have doubts. Uncertainties. They wonder if they can do it. They wonder if it will work.

Here's an example, not about weight loss but about smoking. It's awfully tough to quit smoking. Some people though do quit. And you know who is able to give it up?

It's not the ones that say "I should quit." Or "I need to quit." Or "I just have to quit." It's the ones that say, "I am going to quit."

When you look at it, it doesn't look like much. It is a very subtle point. You'd hardly notice the difference. But when you watch enough people over time you'll see it is true. The success comes after the firm decision and not before.

It works that way with weight loss too. So, make up your mind that you are going to reach that goal weight -- no matter what.

This is not a maybe. This is not hopefully and possibly. There's no self-doubt in a real decision. There is only the steely-eyed certainty that this time you are going to do it. This one is burned in letters of fire. Whatever it takes. This time, it's for blood.

So we have step six: Decide to reach the goal you have set.

And then step seven: Follow your program.

After this everything else is just details. Work up a program. Follow it. Stay with what works. Drop out what doesn't. Keep track of your progress. Continually revise.

When you do this you will move steadily toward your goal. You'll have small successes leading to bigger successes leading to your ideal weight and keeping it off. In time you'll get there and stay there.

What's next? If you haven't gotten your copy of Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan, you should get it today.

It has a complete program for you to reach your weight loss goal. All the steps, individualized for you, to get where you want to be. You'll be glad you did.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

  • 28960 US Highway 19 North, Suite 115
  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

  • Or to use our contact form click here.

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