Two main points to start with, both important...

#1 You are beautiful, just the way you are, right now, today.

Yes, you may want to lose 10, 20, 30 lbs or more but take a day trip to an art museum and notice that society's idea of beauty shifts with the sands of time. Look up the works of Ruben, his painting glorify the most desired woman of the day, all very chubby by our current societal norms.

Ignore the fashion trends and remember - you are beautiful. 

#2  If you are above your "healthy BMI target" - fully commit right now to reaching your ideal weight. This has nothing to do with beauty or fashion - it's more serious than that. Turns out those extra pounds are anything but an inert spare tire around our belly, they have an active and highly negative impact on our overall health.  

BMI, your Body Mass Index is an objective and much studied indicator. To find out your BMI use this super simple CDC online calculator. If you are outside the "normal" range of 18-25 it is time to make some changes. ( Ideally you are in the 20-23 sweet spot that correlates with the best health outcomes ) 

Take action but remember to be kind to yourself in the process. Being outside your optimal BMI has nothing to do with your self worth or your moral character, it's about what you eat and properly managing your stress and activity levels. You can do this.

Slimming Down into your own BMI Nirvana

Start by tracking your food, there are many online / app based food trackers. Studies show that just tracking what you eat improves your diet by making you much more accountable to yourself. It can be a bit depressing if it calls attention to what you recognise as a crappy diet but defining the problem is often a big part of the solution. 

If you are like most Americans your are overfed and undernourished and those two are directly related. Your body turns up the cravings and says keep eating, we are way short on nutrition. The good news is once you switch to a delicious, satisfying and super nutritious diet the cravings stop and make things much easier to manage.

Tactics

Consider "going Paleo" for a few months. At their core paleo diets emphasizes eating lots of veggies and lean clean meats while cutting the carbs. It may not be sustainable or even optimal long term but for a 1-6 month period it can really slim you down to your healthy BMI target range.

Really watch glycemic load of foods you eat. Grains, pasta, rice, bread, cookies, cake, cereals, bagels, donuts - cutting out all these carbs will pay off. Same with any added sugar from soda to high fructose ketchup. Same with beer and wine. If that's your stress relief mechanism, find another one, like exercise, time in nature or meditation. Ramp up the veggies and clean protein and cut carbs and you'll get lean fast. 

Enlist the help of a dietician or wellness coach, they are cheap to see weekly or every other week. Email them your diet tracking data and they can guide you toward subtle shifts and substitutions that keep you on track toward your goals.  

Food alone won't do it though. Start walking a brisk 30 min a day every day. Get a dog or a walking partner. If you have a computer screen based job get up and move 5 min each hour while at work.

Reduce your stress load - it's directly linked to weight gain. Get a good counselor or read books. Join a meditation group. Do whatever works for you but down-rev to a Zen state at least part of each day and watch the pounds drop away.

Hang around with slender healthy people more often. We are all human and our peer group effects us, our outlook and choices. 

Once you reach your target BMI, gently switch to a healthy consensus mediterranean diet like the one outlined here at What to Eat. Keep exercising. Stay Zen.

You'll enjoy seeing that slimmer healthy you in the mirror each morning. And the proven benefits / the reduction in all types of disease risks, that you will enjoy for a lifetime.

 

 

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