What is your one best piece of advice for someone planning to lose weight?

Focus on the process, not the outcome.

If you do this, then you will enjoy your weight loss journey much more.

If you don’t, it will feel like a grind because weight loss, when done in a healthy, sustainable way is a very gradual process.

The more weight you have to lose, the longer it will take.

This is why it’s better to focus on making better choices and improving your current habits 1% at a time.

Everyone has heard the standard weight loss advice: eat less, eat healthier, move more, exercise more.

Lack of information isn’t the problem. It’s lack of execution. So in each of these areas, focus on the process of making positive change.

Eat less/eat healthier:

Develop a basic understanding of your calorie intake and how much you need to be eating in order to maintain your weight. You don’t have to track macros or do anything fancy. Just learn this one number.

Then, gradually work your way below this number by making some simple food swaps that you can handle. You don’t have to cut out your favorite foods if you don’t want to. Think about what you can do, not what you can’t do.

Can you eat leaner meat instead of fattier meat? Lower fat dressings, yogurts, and cheeses? A side of veggies instead of a side of fries? If not, HALF a side of veggies and half a side of fries?

It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. You can inch your way there.

Move more:

Start tracking your steps.

If you’re averaging 2,000 a day, you don’t need to jump up to 10,000 tomorrow. Try to get 2,500 this month. Then, 3,000 next month.

Again, think about what you can do. Can you go for a 15-minute walk with your spouse after dinner? Can you take a 10-minute walk break in the middle of your work day?

When I first started tracking my steps a couple of years ago, I was averaging 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. Now, I’m averaging about 8,000.

Exercise more:

Find some type of exercise you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be in a gym. If it’s something you look forward to, you’ll be able to do it a couple of times a week without too much trouble.

Is there a new sport or activity you’ve been wanting to learn? Are you interested in starting a basic beginner weight lifting program? There are thousands of free programs available online that you can try.

When I first started trying to lose weight, I was very focused on outcome.

While I had some success, it always felt like a grind. It was difficult to maintain the weight loss because I always felt like I was on the cusp of gaining it all back with one false step.

Now, after years of tweaking and developing habits in all of these areas (food, movement, etc.), I’ve become more process-oriented and keeping the weight off has become near effortless.

You might not feel this way now, but start focusing on small habits and processes and in a year or two, your entire outlook on weight loss (and overall health) will change.


First published on Quora.

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