Weight Loss – How do I do it?

| Registered Dietitian
12/07/23  9:00 AM PST

Shield HealthCare Registered Dietitian Lisa Plinario shares her advice on weight loss. Whether you have decided to make a lifestyle change, or have been told to lose weight for medical reasons, we hope this article helps!

One of the most common questions I get asked when someone finds out that I am a registered dietitian is “Can you give me a diet that will help me lose some weight?”. I don’t find this surprising considering there are so many books, websites, opinions, weight loss medications, and fad diets out there. It’s easy to be misled or find conflicting information.

I always tell them, the answer comes in three parts… and YOU are part of the answer.


1. YOU must exercise

30 minutes per day (of course with doctor’s recommendations). Whatever you want to do, JUST DO IT.

The beauty of exercise is it’s your choice – Do the ‘thing’ you want to do most days of the week. Time yourself doing it for 30 min and that’s it. Personally, I love running and walking in the morning, it’s a great way to start my day. Sometimes you have to become a weekend warrior, but get it in!

If you struggle to have 30 minutes in a day or need to build up stamina: Break the time up. Do 10 min of exercise 3x/day. Try to walk for 10 min after each meal.  You might be surprised how easily you can find a friend at work who may want to take a lap around the building instead of sitting on the phone tik-toking or on Instagram.


2. YOU must reduce your portions

Oftentimes, I will get questions like, “Should I eat meat?” “What do you think of carbs?” “What do you do?” “Why do you do it?” And the list goes on.

My reply: Keep it simple.

A serving of most foods is about ½ cup of the cooked item. This rule can apply to almost any cooked food except cooked meats (which is recommended to be the ‘size of your palm’ or 3oz.). It is a good idea to take your favorite meals and measure the portions. You do not need to avoid your favorite foods, just start reducing how much of them you eat. This will get you started on your weight loss efforts. If meeting with a Registered Dietitian is an option for you, an RD can help you to plan out your meals. You can also try calling your healthcare provider, your local hospital, or your local health department to find out if there are local resources or healthcare professionals available to help with your health plan.


3. YOU must commit

Commit to following through with your weight loss efforts. Make a plan and stick to it, no matter what.

I read an article about a man who worked restaurant hours, sometimes getting off work at 2 am. In order to stick to his plan, he had to find a way to work out at 3 am.  The gym that he was a member of opened at 5 am. He met with the manager and brought up his plan and the schedule challenges. Surprisingly, the manager gave him a key to get into the gym and work out before anyone else arrived. Now that is determination. Find out how to make your plan work for YOU.

No matter if it is too hot or too cold outside to exercise, if the kids need to eat first and you have to snack; let nothing get in your way of getting healthy.

By the way, when snacking: keep mindful of what you are snacking on. Snack food calories have a way to add up! 55 goldfish = 140 calories and 5 grams of fat. Try carrot sticks & 2 sticks of low-fat cheese instead; this beats a candy bar and you will get more energy.


Everyone knows that healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, and healthy weight status (BMI <30) will prevent many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and more. So let’s celebrate that you are making the decision to make a change. It’s so worth it!


Some last tips before you go:

  • After you have decided on your goal, whether it is to lose weight, to get in shape, whether you simply want to eat healthier or just to feel better, GO FOR IT.
  • Write down your plan and stick to it.
  • Tell everyone what you are doing. This will cement your plan and aid you in getting support.
  • This is not a race; it is a lifestyle change, and this takes time.
  • No one is perfect, and there will be times that you may veer off of your plan. That is alright. Get back up and try again. The past is gone, and tomorrow has not happened yet, so don’t worry and move on. As Ted Lasso says: Be a goldfish.


Good Luck and Happy Healthy Eating!


Lisa Plinario | Registered Dietitian

Dallas, TX
Wife and Mother of 2 Boys!

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