5 Steps to Lose Weight and Gain Health

Today’s post was inspired by a client that I am working with. This client has been through several weight loss journeys and has actually succeeded many times before. So what’s the problem? The weight has always come back. Every single time.

My number one priority with clients is always optimal health, not necessarily optimal weight. When this client and I initially met, we were in agreement that he had weight to lose, but also that we needed to lay a more solid foundation of eating whole foods, exercising, and better sleeping habits. But let’s be honest, carrying around excess weight negatively affects almost every other avenue of your health from sleep, to exercise, to energy levels, and more. Losing weight isn’t the end-all-be-all in health, but it may be an appropriate starting point for some specific cases. This was one of those cases. His weight was draining his energy and he lacked motivation to exercise. The extra weight made it difficult to exercise when he could muster up the energy and was causing too much stress to his frame when he did. And his sleep…a total wreck. Losing weight would most likely let him fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Approaching weight loss needs to be individualized for each and every person. Genetics, lab work, and the amount of weight needed to lose should all be factors to consider when starting a weight-loss plan. Here are 5 steps that anyone can follow to promote weight-loss without sacrificing health.


Why should anyone care about their health? Feel good. Look good. Prevent disease. These are all good reasons. It helps to be educated on how weight-loss can down regulate some of the gene expression that may be pre-disposing you to weight gain. It also helps to understand how weight loss can improve your bloodwork results and decrease your chance of becoming another unfortunate victim of chronic disease in our country.

But what is at the heart of it? Or maybe I should ask, WHO is at the heart of it? Who do you want to be for your children, your grandchildren, your community, your company, or your church? How can weight-loss increase your ability to serve these people well? We all have a purpose for being on this earth. What is yours? Is losing this weight going to help you fulfill that purpose?

Write it down. Seriously, write down the names of the people on a piece of paper. Write down your purpose on a Post-It note. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Put it in your car. Attach it the pantry door! Tape it in the inside of the refrigerator. A daily reminder of WHY is a good motivator.


It is crucial to prepare nutrient-dense, whole foods for each meal. And when you sit down to eat that meal, you should eat until you feel full. Getting full on healthy foods prevents you from reaching for the nutrient-deplete, pre-packaged, convenient garbage from your pantry in-between meals. The last thing you want is to feel hungry an hour after eating a meal. This is a sign that you didn’t eat enough when you sat down to eat. If for some reason you are unable to eat everything you put on your plate, save those leftovers in case you do get hungry an hour later.

In the initial weeks of weight-loss, it is vital that you choose foods that have a low glycemic index. When you replace these carbohydrate-rich foods with healthy forms of fats and proteins, you avoid the spike in insulin. Insulin tells your body to store calories as fat. As well, the healthy forms of fat alongside the incidental carbohydrates that will be in some of the vegetables you consume will slow the absorption of the carbohydrates and prevent the pancreas from producing too much insulin.


Dramatically cutting calories leaves you feeling hungry, and your brain will convince you to devour anything in sight. Then, you have to make a choice, to indulge your desires to eat or to use sheer willpower to put the craving aside. Either way…you are miserable!

Reducing calories is not sustainable over the long-term. When you restrict calories for more than two weeks, your metabolism slows down to preserve the precious calories it is getting. Chances are, you will continue to lose weight by reducing calories, but more times than not, the weight-loss will plateau at some point. Ever been in that spot before?

So how do you lose weight without cutting calories? Its first and foremost a matter of shifting the macronutrient profile of those calories. It the initial stages for the majority of white people of northern European heritage, it means limiting carbohydrate intake. Intermittent fasting is another strategy that I encourage those looking to lose or maintain weight. It consists of eating all the calories you need for a day within a shorter time window, generally 8 hours.


We all tend to work more diligently when someone is watching. An accountability partner is more than just someone to encourage you. And while having a network of friends and family to support you and encourage you when you aren’t indulging in the same food and drink as they are is important, an accountability partner is someone who can call you out. They can recognize your successes and failures and put you back on the path to success. An accountability partner is someone you have to be completely honest and transparent with, so if you aren’t ready to be fully honest, you may not be ready for this step in the process.

Many times your accountability partner can be a spouse, a sibling, or a friend. But the road to weight-loss isn’t always easy and you may choose to work with someone that is trained in positive behavior reinforcement communication. This is the role of a health coach, or a Tolleson Health Advisors team member.


As humans, we are all wired the same. We naturally want to take the path of least resistance. We like to be comfortable, and change can take us out of our comfort zone. When we try to take on too many changes at once, things get really uncomfortable, and our brains tells us to revert back to the way things used to be.

One day you may wake up and decide you want to lose 50 pounds. And if you are a ultra type-A personality, you are ready to flip the world upside down to make it happen. Simmer down. Long-term success comes from lasting lifestyle changes. Set weekly goals. Set monthly goals.

What we achieve is only a success if it matches what we maintain.