Get answers to your burning weight loss questions from LEVL weight loss expert Liz Josefsberg.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED ON A WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
- Start on a Monday. But….use the weekend prior to get set up. There are bodies of research that prove that those who start a weight loss program on a Monday often have more success. A Monday weigh-in forces better behavior on the weekends to get the results desired on the scale on a Monday. Weekends can prove difficult due to more social gatherings, less structure and more downtime, so having a little motivation to stay in the pocket with a Monday weigh in can help. Spend the weekend before you start your program as prep time. Do a little cooking, shop for healthy foods, get a good workout in, etc. In using that first “pre-weekend” for prepping, you get in the mindset of using the weekend to get set up for the upcoming week each week.
- Get a scale that measures body fat and take measurements. It is critical to look at several indicators of success and not just your weight on the scale. Although body fat scales are not totally reliable yet, you will still be able to see trends and changes overall. Taking measurements and the way clothing is fitting will also help you understand how your body is changing as you lose weight. Track all of these indicators and look for trends. Weight is the least reliable indicator of overall change, so don’t let it be your only guide.
- Build a habit of hydration. Most people are severely under hydrated most of the day. I recommend getting into the habit at the very beginning of a weight loss program of staying hydrated. Buy a water bottle that you will carry with you. Aim to get at least 64 ounces of water per day. Staying hydrated is a habit. Use alarms on your smart phone to remind you to drink up!
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST WEIGHT LOSS MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE?
Trying to be perfect. I see the most success for the people who live their lives in an 80/20 ratio. Understand that there is room for a treat here and there. No one gained their weight from one dessert, but from continuing to eat dessert after every meal. I teach moderation and the enjoyment of life. When someone tries to be perfect and is too strict they create a situation that is unlivable for the long-term. I encourage looking ahead at your week and identifying two places that you would like to treat yourself (like a glass of wine or a dessert). Planning your treats helps with something to look forward to each week and makes everything feel like more fun and very doable.
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU RECOMMEND IN THE KITCHEN FOR HEALTHY COOKING?
- Slow cooker. Slow cooker cooking is extremely healthy because there is no need for added fats or sauces. Consider a higher-end slow cooker that has a cast iron pot that allows browning of meats or veggies needed for a recipe to be done right in that pot and transferred into the slow-cooker itself. I prepare everything from soups to stews to shredded chicken or pork to pot roast. Even eggs and oatmeal can be prepped for a week of healthy make-ahead meals.
- Immersion blender. Use it to blend healthy cauliflower “mashed potatoes” or whip homemade Dijon Balsamic vinaigrette into a creamy, thick and luxurious dressing. Blend soups into creamy, nutrient packed meals with ease and the convenience of not having to transfer batches to a blender or food processor. No second clean up is definitely worth the modest investment. It makes amazing hummus and gravies, awesome scrambled eggs with great consistency, smoothies and even tomato sauce.
- Spiralizer. This amazing tool turns everyday fruits and veggies into noodles, chips and other shapes. Probably the most popular use is to create vegetable noodles as a replacement in your favorite pasta recipes. This immediately adds added nutrients to your meal, while lowering carbs, calories and sugars. Plus, it’s an unprocessed way to enjoy pasta and is gluten-free. I love to add vegetable noodles to my clear broth soups or simply toss them onto a sauté pan with butter and parmesan cheese. I often spiralize double what I need while I have the device out and store them and cook them later in the week.
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