Weight Loss Tips
by Irene Rubaum-Keller
Originally published in Strive magazine
Losing weight and keeping it off are two of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve been keeping a 50
lbs. weight loss off for ten years now. I also help others do the same at UCLA’s Risk Factor Obesity
Clinic and in my private practice. From personal and professional experience, I offer you these
weight loss tips:
1) Count Calories. It’s not very glamorous, it’s not a diet, but it works. The truth is, if you take in
more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you lose
weight and if you take in the same number of calories as you burn, you maintain your current weight. Since your body
counts calories, it’s better to understand this and work with it. Get a good calorie counting book and educate yourself about
the calories in the foods and drinks you consume. A general way to figure out how many calories you need a day is to take
your weight and for women multiply it times 10, for men use 12, and that will give you about what you can eat a day,
without exercise, to maintain your current weight. For example, if I were a 150 lbs. woman I’d take my weight, 150 times
10 = 1,500 calories a day. (Keep in mind that this formula won’t be accurate for everyone. Some will have either a faster or
slower metabolism.) To lose a pound of fat you need to deficit 3,500 calories.
2) Write It Down. Write down what you eat, how many calories in the foods and drinks you consume, what your daily
weight is and how many calories you burned with exercise. It’s the only way to get an accurate assessment of what you’re
doing. Best advice here is to average it out over a week. For example, weigh yourself daily and then average the weights over a week to get a clear
picture of what you actually weigh. Also do that with your calories and exercise. This helps you see that it’s a balancing act, not what you do on any
particular day that really counts.
3) Control Your Environment. I can’t bring an entire box of chocolates home. I can get a couple pieces and bring them home, but if the box enters
my house, I will eat the whole thing. Be honest with yourself about what is safe to bring home and what isn’t.
4) Heighten Your Motivation. Figure out what’s motivating you and find ways of heightening that. For example, if I’m motivated because I want to
look good, I might put up photos of beautiful bodies to remind me of my goal. If I’m motivated because I don’t want to die young, then I might put up
photos of my children to remind me that I want to live and be healthy.
5) Exercise. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it’s one of the only ways to lose it and keep it off. If you want to weigh 130 lbs. then without
exercise you only get 1300 calories a day. When you add a 3 mile walk, you get an extra 300 calories or l600 calories a day. Living on 1300 calories a
day can be very difficult where as 1600 a day might just be possible for you.
6) Have Low Calorie Treats. Foods like lobster, asparagus, hearts of palm, sushi, nonfat frozen yogurt and artichokes are treats and are also low in
7) Take Photos. When you start and every four weeks thereafter, have someone take a photo of you from the front and from the side. For some
unknown reason, we lose the ability to really see what we look like when we look in our familiar mirrors. Photos will give you more of a true picture
of how you’re doing.
8) Reward Yourself Along The Way. Studies show that rewards really work. Set up a system that works for you. One of my clients allows herself a
massage after every five pounds she loses. Pick something you really love and use it to reward yourself when you’re doing well.
9) Believe You Can Do It. The mind is very powerful. If you convince yourself that you’ll never lose weight, you probably won’t. If you work on
changing your thoughts and beliefs it can mean the difference between success and failure. Begin repeating positive messages like, “I can and will lose
weight and keep it off.” “I deserve to look and feel great.” “I can control my calories.”
10) Don’t Give Up. If you’ve tried a lot of diets in the past unsuccessfully, it can be really hard to believe that this time is different. Here’s where a
good therapist, friend or reputable weight loss program can be extremely helpful. Make sure any program you consider includes education and
psychological support. It’s very hard to do it alone. So, even if you’re having one high calorie day after another, don’t give up. Keep records, get some
help, keep trying and remember that feeling fit, healthy and good about your body is better than any food could ever taste.
© Irene Rubaum-Keller 2010 - 2013
"The truth is, if you
take in more
calories than you
burn, you gain
If you take in fewer
calories than you
burn, you lose
weight and if you
take in the same
number of calories
as you burn, you