What’s the simplest thing I can do to lose weight?

I like the way you think! The simplest thing we can do to lose weight is to keep the process exactly that "simple", in every way. When it comes to exercise, simply move more. When it comes to food, simply be aware of your choices and do your very best to get the most nutrition from the least amount of calories you consume, in smaller portions more frequently through the day (every 3 hours or so). Implement one small simple change at a time and you are on your way. 

Keeping a food journal, on-line or retro-style simple note pad and paper, is also key to losing weight. This is a major contributing factor to food awareness. Many on-line food journals (like the one available through sharecare) also tell you how many calories are in each food in your food log. It's surprising how quickly calories can add up. On the flip side, making just a few tweaks to your diet (smaller portions, swapping chips for veggies, switching from sugary juices and soda to water or 0 calorie vitamin drinks) can keep you on track and will help you stay within your calorie budget. Bottom line, keeping a food journal will keep you aware of your food intake, and as Dr. Dow mentioned, just simply being aware of your food intake, will reduce the amount of calories you eat.

Losing weight is a simple formula (not a simple task) of eating less calories than you expend, so if you can find an opportunity to move more in your day, the combination of exercise and your food journal will give you a good jump start to losing weight.

I have always believed that you should beware of problems that only have one simple solution; they are usually not solved with one simple answer.

However, for the sake of simplicity and to answer the question asked I recommend following Dr Oz’s “Rule of Three” as the simplest way to start losing weight. This consists of eating small meals every 3 hours, which contain 1 serving of protein, 1 serving of carbohydrates and 1 serving of healthy fat, and plenty of veggies. I believe that if you follow this rule consistently you will see some positive changes to weight. However, I truly believe that to successfully lose weight and keep it off you have to balance good nutrition with safe and effective exercise. So if it is true that “well begun is half done” then start smart, start small and incorporate Dr Oz’s “Rule of Three” to start losing weight. Then your initial success will inspire you to do more for your personal health and fitness.

Dr. Mike Dow, PsyD
Addiction Medicine

Without changing anything about your diet, mindful eating will actually decrease the amount of calories. Follow this simple rule: Eat from a plate at a table, and studies show that that alone will significantly decrease how much you eat. Studies show Americans are less likely to pay attention to internal signs of hunger, so we don’t know when we’re full. Turning off the TV, not eating from packages, and not eating in the car is a simple way to force ourselves to pay attention to our bodies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.