A 4-Step Formula For Slimming Down 

  • minute read

I had a conversation yesterday with a good friend of ours who has recently been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. She is in her 40s and is worrying about how to make changes to reverse this condition.

The reality is that although she is super busy with work - and she will readily admit this - she has excess weight, eats a carb-rich diet and doesn't do enough physical activity.

She is scared because she doesn't have the tools to be able to fix these.

While losing excess weight is good for your health, taking off those pounds can be stressful. You check the bathroom scale each morning wondering why the numbers don't drop down faster. You go to social events thinking about what you'll be able to eat instead of looking forward to seeing your friends.
The pressure can come from external sources too. Your doctor may be telling you (as is the case with our friend) that you need to lose weight for a variety of reasons. You may compare yourself to images you see in the media and feel like your body comes up short.
It is possible to reach your weight loss goals with fewer distractions and less discomfort.

Try this process for shedding the pounds without the stress.


Make Your Choices Automatic

Making decisions requires effort, especially when you're trying to resist something tempting for the sake of longer-term gains. By changing your environment and your thinking, you can make healthy choices automatic.

Try these activities to form healthy new habits:

  • Exercise regularly. Determine the days and time you are going to exercise. My best advice is to resistance training for strength, but if that is not possible you can go running. The key is to pick specific time slots and make this a priority.
  • Create a shopping list. Keep candy, chips and soda out of your pantry - if it isn't in the house it isn't easy to snack on! Write a shopping list before you go to the grocery store to prevent impulse purchases... and ignore the items they put right by the cash registers!
  • Drink water. We often overlook the calories we drink. Fill up on water instead of soda or alcohol.
  • Keep a log. Use a journal or app to track your behavior. This will help you to spot your personal triggers for overeating. With this knowledge, you can develop strategies and substitutes. Keep yourself honest though!

Focus on Changes That Have Most Impact

Would you rather spend your day thinking & focusing on your diet or being free to focus on the activities you love?

If you make a few major changes to your eating habits, you can relax and devote the rest of your energy to other things.

Suggested changes:

  • Eat more vegetables and fruit. Aim to consume at least 7 servings of vegetables and fruits each day. They're usually low in calories and high in nutrients. Plus, they're rich in fiber which makes you feel fuller.
  • Take a daily whey protein shake. Many people do not get enough protein which is a critical component of maintaining (and growing) muscle mass. Having a daily shake with milk will keep you fuller for longer and help you to resist the cravings for bad snacks.
  • Cut back on processed food & soda. Much of the sugar, salt, and excess calories in your diet probably comes from packaged food and soda. Switch to natural whole foods and drinks whenever possible.
  • Control your portions. You can eat just about anything if you watch your serving sizes. Treat yourself to a few bites of cheese or a small doughnut.

Develop Social Support

Any goal is easier to reach when you have partners on your side. Reaching out to others can even make losing weight seem fun.

These activities will bring you support:

  • Find a weight loss buddy. You probably know someone who's trying to lose weight too. Team up so you can share encouragement, and hold each other accountable.
  • Go online. You may not have time to go away to a spa, but you can find a weight-loss and strength training community online. Discuss your experiences and learn from each other's struggles and success.
  • Seek inspiration. You're bound to lapse occasionally. When your motivation wanes, give yourself a boost. Talk to one of your role models or read a book by someone who lost weight or overcame a similar challenge.
  • Ask for help. Let your family and friends know what kind of assistance you need, whether it's a ride to the gym or a few reassuring words. Be willing to help them out too.

Designate 'Cheat' days

The number one reason for people not achieving their weight loss goals is because they are relying too much on will power.

Will power will give you the initial enthusiasm to make changes, but if you consider these changes to be too restrictive on a daily basis it becomes way too easy to skip out once. This is a slippery slope until quickly everything is back to before.

Instead designate a cheat day or two... every week.

You will look forward to these and anything goes - no restrictions... no judgement.

Having cheat days will make the remaining days easier to stick to the plan and achieve those goals.

You can do it!

Take the stress out of losing weight. Adopting healthy habits, targeting your efforts, and reaching out for support can make dieting more pleasant and successful. You're more likely to reach your weight loss goals and enjoy your life while you're shaping up.

Our friend has seen the results of strength training for my wife and is now looking to starting training with me, along with adopting these steps. She'll modify her diet & habits, strength train three times a week, designate cheat days and her family, myself and my wife will support her through this.

If she can do it so can you.


I'm Mark and I am an entrepreneur and IT specialist by trade, but have become an avid fan of strength training - especially for people fifty and above.  I love writing about my strength training journey and sharing my experiences so that it may inspire others to do the same.

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