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Drop the Weight with Ej: 5 Steps to Losing Weight on a Diet Without Feeling Overwhelmed



IMG_4385 SmallSo you want to go on a diet to drop the weight. Hopefully you’ve also considered tacking on an exercise plan to help boost your chances of success. Then there are healthy behaviors that need to be adopted to ensure that the weight you do lose stays off for the long term. And you have to figure out how to do all of this while living your life, building your career, and taking care of your family. You might get to the point where you feel like it’s too much and you end up doing nothing.

But the thing is, all this work that can be done without getting overwhelmed to the point of wanting to quit. It can be done if you’re willing to take things slow rather than trying to undo a lifetime of bad habits in one crash diet. Here’s how you can slow down and succeed:

Step 1: Shift Your Mindset
The first step to slowing down is to truly understand that you can’t lose in two month’s what you gained over two years. It’s just not possible if you want that weight to stay off. Now if you’re okay with the weight coming off and then coming back with more added on, then sure keep your expectations as they are. But if you’d rather lose the weight and be done with it, or in the words of my favorite gladiator – Olivia Pope – If you want it handled, then you want to adopt a go-slow mindset. You need to be truly okay with the fact that your weight loss isn’t going to take a linear curve. It might come off fast, then slow down or even stop coming off. But it will eventually come off if you’re willing to stay the course through the good times and the not so good times. One thing that can make it easier is if you knew how long it took you to gain the weight, having this information will allow you to give yourself at least that much time to lose it. For instance, I just had a baby and it took me 39 weeks of carrying him to gain 19 kg and I’ve given myself at least that much time to lose all of it.

Step 2: Take Stock of Where You Are Now
Now that you’ve shifted your mindset the next thing is to make a list of what needs to be done for the weight to come off. I started this list in the introduction and it includes 3 things at the core of it – eat healthier, move more, and change your unhealthy behaviors. This step of taking stock requires that you know how you eat, how you move, and what unhealthy behaviors you currently have. This step is important because it not only gives you an objective view of where you are right now, but it could also help you see that things might not just be as bad as you think they are. For example, you might not be eating healthy, but you might find that you’re actually very active. And if it reveals that you have work to do on all three fronts, at least you know where you’re starting out.

Step 3: Tackle the Easiest Thing First
Now that you know where you are, tackle the easiest thing first. Sometimes this decision might be made for you as is the case for a new mom who isn’t allowed to exercise for the first six weeks after she has her baby. In this case, she can focus on eating healthier or working on letting go of one unhealthy behavior each week. If you have no such restrictions, start with what’s easiest. If you’ve had success eating healthier in the past start with that. Doing this will help you clean up your diet faster, and have you moving on to cutting your portions quicker so that you can start to see the weight fall off. This taps into the concept that as a human being, you’re more likely to stick with something if you see success early on. So set yourself up for getting the wins early and often by starting with what you know you can be successful at and slowly graduating to the harder stuff.

Step 4: Track Your Wins
It’s no fun to have early wins and successes if you don’t know what they are. This is where keeping track of things really helps you. Tracking your meals, your exercise, and the habits that you’re working on can help you determine what you’re winning at and motivate you to do more of that. If you want to know how to track your wins with the habits you’re working on, check out the 30-Day Power of Three Checklist that’s based on habit research made popular by Brian Wansink, the Author of Slim by Design and Mindless Eating. Enter your start date, end date, and your three habits; and for each day that you successfully complete each habit, you’ll put a check mark next to the habit under that day. Your goal is to at least go for 80% success.

Step 5: Slowly Add More to Your Plate When You Feel Ready
As you master the easiest tasks that form your diet plan, you’ll start to feel more confident. This confidence is just what you need to take the next steps and add the harder diet changes, exercise modifications, and new habits that you need to get you all the way to where you want to go.

With a new change mindset, going through the cycle of taking stock, tackling what’s easiest, tracking your wins, and adding more to your plate when you’ve mastered what’s already on there will help you succeed at your diet feeling like a victor rather than feeling overwhelmed.

Over to You:
Now that I’ve gotten you started with the information to get the body you want without feeling like you’re doing too much at once, I’d like to know – what’s your next step? Do share in the comments section, I’ll be sure to respond.

EJ (Ejiro) is a writer/engineer/mom. She writes about healthy living to help busy professional women lose weight, keep it off—and actually feel amazing. She created a Registered Trademarked System (VAFs®) for healthy eating for weight loss and wrote the book Weight Loss for High Achievers to help busy women lose weight and let go of the idea that the only way to succeed is to diet for the rest of their lives. With EJ's methods, dieting isn't required and neither is spending hours in the gym for meager results. P.S. If you want to get the goal-crushing motivation to reach your weight loss goal, then you'll want to get the first chapter of EJ's book for FREE. Click here to get it now.


  1. @edDREAMZ

    May 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    This one is na for rich people nobi person like we wey go dey for sun six hours dey pursue money….. So when we enter house akpu and semovita we need to recover all those lost strenghth abeg…..

    • Vee

      May 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Very informative article. I think some Nigerians have a very “excuse” based attitude towards eating healthy and exercising. In my opinion I think there will always be excuses and reasons why we can’t do /achieve one thing or the other. I feel if it’s important to you, you will always find a way.
      You can’t have results and excuses. We need to choose one.

    • EJ Ogenyi

      May 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Hello Vee,

      I’m glad you found the article informative. It’s not just Nigerians that have excuses, every human being does. But our excuses are barriers that are very real to us. Rather than ignore the fact that excuses are a reality, the key is to probe why their real and handle it. It’s not a zero-sum game. I believe you can have excuses and results, but you have to handle the excuses first to get there; and you’ll feel stronger for having handled the things that hold you back. Thank you for shining a light on this aspect of any journey and have an amazing day!


  2. xoxo

    May 27, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Congrats on the arrival of your baby. I’m a new mum as well, and i’m trying to loose my post-baby weight. it will be nice if you could share your tips on loosing the weight.

    • EJ Ogenyi

      May 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Hello xoxo,

      Thank you and congratulations to you on your bundle of joy as well! I’ll definitely weave in tips on how to drop the baby weight in my future columns. Good luck and feel free to contact me directly with any specific questions that you have.

      Stay Beautiful Mama!!!


  3. Ibinabo

    May 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Please, any tips for those of us that NEED to gain weight? it’s essential, I need workable tips.

    • EJ Ogenyi

      May 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Hello Ibinabo,

      To gain weight you’ll need to eat more and move more. Your eat more strategy should be focused on eating bigger portions of healthy fare and moving more should be focused on building muscle rather than burning calories. Muscle weighs more than fat and when you do exercises that build muscle it will help you get lean while giving you curves in all the right places even as you gain weight from eating more. Doing body weight strength exercises or strength training with weights will help you build said muscle. If you’re a lady (I don’t want to assume), don’t worry about looking like a man – we generally don’t have enough testosterone for that. I hope this helps; have a wonderful day and good luck on your quest.


  4. bunmi

    May 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Jst like dat

  5. Milly

    May 27, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Nice tips, I’m always looking for shortcuts and stay in my comfort zone. GUess that’s why I chose the Loaded Gun Diet, I’m losing weight without regretting about my precious chocolate cake, LOL

    • mos

      May 28, 2015 at 11:23 am

      pls whats the loaded gun diet

  6. Nne

    May 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Madam, you have not said anything o!

  7. Nwachidinma

    May 27, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    E.J, finally an approach to weight loss that addresses the importance of creating good habits that lead to a change in our behaviors and psyche. its not just about losing weight quickly but a more sustainable plan that will lead to a life long of positive results. Thanks!

    • EJ Ogenyi

      May 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      You’re more than welcome Nwachidinma. Have a wonderful day.

  8. rime

    May 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    To lose weight quickly, the sport is necessary … and of course, then keep this good habit not to resume weight! Jogging, dancing, gym, jogging, swimming, cardio …

  9. lily

    May 27, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Eat less.

  10. la femme

    May 28, 2015 at 7:39 am

    i chose the healthier aproach to losing weight… much like whats described hear.. bt for me i ddnt really have a bad eating habit.. i mean, i liked food as much as d next person.. bt i wasnt really one for sweets, chips chocolate nd all those snacks.. neither do i eat any “swallow”, with any kind of soup… nd i am thankfull to GOd that i dont have a bad posture nd figure.. my trainer says i am lucky, because as much as i wna shed the pounds.. i dont have overwhelming bulges of fat on my stmach, or any where random.. i enjoy working out…Alot.. i find it fun.. nd a great way to meet people and learn new excercise tricks… i took a pic of myself yesterday, sent it to my family n a few close friends.. nd most ppl were shocked.. at my 4 month journey…
    All that being sed.. NIGERIANS!!! and other fellow illiterate Africans from other countries… STOP TALKING ABOUT WEIGHT.. STOP COMMENTING ON IT.. its soo rude.. why should you have to remind someone that they have gained.. WE KNOW.. please stop being rude…i saw a pic of a youth corper on my wall.. celebrating the end of her service.. nd all ppl cld say was.. “ahh you’re fat oo”.. lyk why? doesnt she know? no congratulation on your service? not everyone hu is big is unhealthy.. i have seen sm ppls bmi at the gym whilst working out.. some of the bigger girls had an almost perfect bmi, whilst those skinnier girls hu had a habit of junkfood thot they cld get away with it just because they were skinny WRONG!!! jst stop it..

    • EJ Ogenyi

      May 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Hello La Femme,

      I’m so glad to see that you’ve created a balance routine on your journey. I’d say it’s more the habits you’ve adopted rather than luck. Have a wonderful day!


    • onile ookan

      May 29, 2015 at 2:33 am

      LA femme, now that you got your “sexy” back you need to get a copy of brighter grammer. Jeez!

  11. le coco

    May 29, 2015 at 9:03 am

    @onile ookan.. excuse the typos..

  12. Claudia

    June 22, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Great post! I agree taking things slow rather than trying the latest diet fad is best. Especially if you are trying to achieve a lifetime of wellness.

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