I want to lose weight, but how do I start?

¿Quiero perder peso, pero ¿cómo empiezo?

When we are overweight, our health deteriorates, it is no longer just a visual issue. Therefore, losing weight means reducing the risk of suffering or developing diseases and reducing ailments and symptoms. In the case of suffering from osteoarthritis, the improvement in the quality of life is notorious.

If doctors and health specialists have recommended you to lose weight and the idea alone causes you stress, here are some tips:

First you have to be convinced that you want to lose weight. To do this, write down a list of all the things that would improve in your life and you would be able to do by losing weight (try to get at least 15). Put that sheet somewhere visible and read it every day.

Well, once you have your motivations clear, the next thing is to mentalize that this is a long distance race, do not pretend to have the results you want next month. Instead of focusing on the result, focus on every day, because every day you will have to do something better, and every day you will do something that is beneficial for you. This means that you do not have to follow a perfect diet, but take better choices every day.

¿Quiero perder peso, pero ¿cómo empiezo?


Now, some specific advice on food that will make you start losing weight:


  1. Eat more times a day, but less quantity. Use smaller plates if necessary. If you are very hungry at a meal, eat a soup or salad first. This will satisfy you more.
  2. Take something with you at all times: nuts, almonds or fruit. This way you can have something to eat when you are out.
  3. Avoid desserts, even if it is fruit or yogurt. Leave it for mid-mornings or evenings.
  4. Let’s change the pantry. This is the most important point that will make you lose weight without realizing it. The goal is to change all the products you have for better quality ones: less processed, sugar-free and whole-grain.

To do this, you have to start reading product labels. You will always see that there is a list of ingredients and a composition table. Many of you are used to just looking at the calories in the table. Now, during this step, we are going to look only at the list of ingredients meaning which is what the food is made of. The ingredients are listed in order according to the percentage used (for example, if sugar is the first ingredient, it means that it is the one that is in the greatest quantity in that product). If you are buying a whole wheat flour product, such as bread or crackers, the ingredient list must specify ”whole wheat flour from…”.


Take a notepad, go to the kitchen and start writing down:

Check the food you have in your pantry and refrigerator. Read the labels (list of ingredients) and see if those products contain sugar. Write down the ones that have added sugar (also called syrup, molasses, dextrin, glucose, etc.).

Write down all the pasta or white rice (refined). These are basically starch ingredients with lots of sugar.

Do you have canned? prepared food? frozen? Most are ultra-processed food.


Write it down:

When you have the entire list, you are ready to look for substitutions and go shopping. I give you some examples: if your list includes yogurt with berries (processed), replace it with natural yogurt; if you have sausages (highly processed), replace  them with roast ham or Iberian Serrano ham; if you have white pasta and rice, replace it with whole wheat (it is a little hard at first , but I assure you that you will notice the difference in your body), and finally, for example, breakfast cereals can be replaced with muesli without sugar.

The list is as long as the food you have in your kitchen.

You will see, you will begin to lose weight by applying these guidelines. The important thing is not to stress yourself, do it at your own pace and seek help from a professional to guide you. In addition, this process will help you to include anti-inflammatory foods, teach you how to choose, avoid foods that are harmful for your health and keep your spirits high during your process.

Georgina Soriano

Nutritionist MSc