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Taking the First Steps to Losing Weight

August 6, 2021
Taking the First Steps to Losing Weight

Losing 1 pound a week, heart health, how many calories a day to lose weight, how often do I weigh myself, how to start a diet

Starting your weight loss journey can be hard and scary, but it is worth it in the long run

In this article:

  • Motivation can 
  • Weigh yourself to get a starting point. Set a weight loss goal.
  • Identify a few changes you can make. They should not disrupt your daily life much.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Getting Motivated


Motivation can help you make changes for weight loss. Why are you losing weight? It could be for any of these or other reasons.

  • Prevent diabetes
  • Increase energy
  • Fit into clothes
  • Live longer
  • Do more things in life

Writing down your reasons for wanting to lose weight can improve focus. You can look at your list to stay on track when things get tough. You can write your reasons on paper or in an app. 

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Committing Yourself


Making a commitment can get you started. You might show your commitment in these ways.

  • Writing down your weight loss goal. 
  • Setting up your Lark account so you can use the app.
  • Telling a friend or family member about your intention to lose weight.

Finding a Baseline


How do you know where you want to be if you do not know where you are? It is important to find your baseline. You might want to:

  • Weigh yourself.
  • Write down what you eat for a few days.
  • Record your physical activity for a week.

Then you know your starting point. You can build on it.

Setting Goals


You need to have goals to achieve. If not, what are you working towards? Mayo Clinic says that setting SMART goals can help you succeed. 

The University of California talks about each part of SMART goals.

Example of non-SMART goal Example of SMART goal
Specific
Eat healthier.
Drink water instead of soda 5 times a week.
Measurable
Choose unprocessed foods.
Swap whole grains for refined grains at least once a day.
Attainable
Lose 50 pounds.
Lose 5% of body weight.
Realistic or relevant
Avoid sugar.
Eat fruit instead of a sugary dessert 4 days a week.
Trackable
Get fit.
Walk briskly four days a week for at least 20 minutes.

Lark DPP has two main goals. 

  1. Lose at least 5% of body weight in 12 months.
  2. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

Preparing to Self-Monitor


People who self-monitor their weight loss tend to lose more weight. A review article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association identifies many ways to monitor weight loss.

  • Logging food.
  • Weighing often.
  • Recording exercise.

Lark DPP lets you monitor each of these. You can log your meals. You can record workouts or let your phone pick up your motion. You can step on the connected scale and have the weight go into Lark.

Making Small Changes


Now it is time to get working. You do not need to make major changes to lose weight. Small steps can work. They can fit into your lifestyle. This lets you turn them into habits so weight loss can be lasting.

Examples of small changes to start with include these.

  • Taking the skin off of poultry and removing fat from red meat.
  • Walking for 10 minutes before lunch.
  • Packing lunch once a week instead of going to a fast food restaurant.
  • Filling your plate half-full with vegetables for one meal a day.

Picking 1 to 3 small changes is a good start. Too many changes can lead to frustration and failure.

Are you overweight? Has your doctor recommended that you lose weight? Losing weight can be about more than pounds. It can be a ticket to better health. It can lower risk for diabetes. And it can let you do more of the things you love.

You can lose weight without sacrifice. A few small changes can put you on the right path. As the pounds go down on the scale, you may notice more benefits. Weight loss can increase energy, boost confidence, and improve mood, for example.

The Lark DPP and a connected scale may be available at no cost to you. You can check if your health insurer covers the program. Just click here for a short survey. You could be minutes away from starting your weight loss and health journey with Lark!

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Written by Natalie Stein on August 6, 2021
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health
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