Doc Says Your TFTB? Try These 12 Weight Loss Tips

Do you ever wonder what doctors really think of their patients?

Browse through the pages of your medical notes, and you may find yourself described in a way you’ve never heard before.

The truth is, your doctors opinion of you may be noted in some of the following ways:

  • GPO – Good for parts only
  • FLK – Funny looking kid
  • NQR – Not quite right

So, what do you do if you find TFTB?

Don’t panic, but your doctor has just described you as ‘Too Fat to Breathe!’

Not good news! So, what are you to do?

Maybe try the latest low carb craze? Or perhaps the Grapefruit or Cabbage soup diet?

The problem with most of these plans is they’re mind numbing, and you end up veering off course, gaining back the pounds, and feeling like a total failure!

So, what is the secret to losing weight, and keeping it off?

#1 Are you ready?
If you venture into lifestyle change because you merely feel it’s something you should do, you’re probably not ready for it.

It’s really important to be ready for change, otherwise you’ll end up falling flat on your face, blaming yourself for your lack of willpower.

So, are you ready to lose weight right now? If you’re not sure, take the questionnaire at the beginning of my free ebook to find out.

#2 Make a commitment
If you are ready to lose weight, you now need to make a commitment to it.

You can do this by writing about it in your journal, on your website, or simply telling your friends and family what you want to achieve. This creates accountability, and will help you stick with the plan long-term.

Are you willing to commit to losing weight for at least 30 days?

In this time, you will need to do everything you can to be successful. Then at the end of the 30 days you can reassess your situation and decide if you want to continue.

By putting everything into losing weight for 30 days, you’ll start to see the benefits, which in turn will give you encouragement to continue.

#3 Create your POA
If you want to be successful in anything in life, you need to have a plan of action, and it’s no different when you’re trying to lose weight.

Many people make the mistake of haphazardly trying one diet, then scrapping it when it gets too difficult, and it’s on to something else. This way of doing things hasn’t been successful for you in the past, has it?

What you need to do right now is create your plan of action for the future – this will help you be successful in losing weight.

Two things you need to ask yourself:

a) What are my weight loss goals? Write a list in your journal, then choose one or two small goals to place your focus on, such as:

  • “I want to be able to move around easily”
  • “I want to eat healthier foods”
  • “I want to lose 8 pounds”

b) When will I reassess my goals? Your time scale will depend on the personal goals you’ve set, but you could reassess each week, fortnight, or once a month – it’s up to you.

When you reassess your goals ask yourself:

  • Are my current goals still appropriate?
  • Do I need to set new goals?
  • How will I know when I’ve reached my goals?
  • How will I reward my success?

#4 Make gradual changes
Another mistake people make when losing weight, is trying to change everything at once. For most people this is detrimental!

Instead, like I said above, you should focus on making one or two small changes, allowing new habits to become ingrained before you attempt to change something else.

Remember, it took years to get to where you are right now, so it will take time to move away from your current bad habits.

Think of this, one extra biscuit each week could lead to a weight gain of 5 pounds a year, but cut that biscuit out of your diet and you’ll lose 5 pounds. Small, gradual changes like this are often overlooked, but they really are imperative to your success.

What small changes could you begin making today?

#5 Plan your eating
A big part of losing weight, is planning ahead. So, if you can get into the habit for planning for healthy meals and snacks, this will ensure you eat healthier and lose weight.

You will need to plan for all meals and snacks, so that you know exactly what you’re going to eat each day.

Try writing out a weekly menu plan, and shopping list, then when you get to the store don’t deviate from the list.

Having plenty of healthy food in the house, and pre-planned meals and snacks, will encourage you to eat well, and will go a long way to preventing binge eating.

#6 Reduce your calories
There’s so much debate about what the best diet is, but in fact studies have shown if you eat a low carb, high fat diet, or a high carb, low fat diet, you’ll lose weight on either one.

The key to losing weight is simply calorie intake.

Now, whether a high protein diet is something you can stick with long term is another matter, but the point I’m trying to get across here is this: you don’t need a specialised diet plan to lose weight, you just need to eat less food than your body needs.

If your weight is maintained, but you want to start losing a few pounds, here’s the thing…

There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat. So, if you eat 500 calories less each day for 7 days (500 x 7 = 3,500), theoretically this is enough to lose 1 pound of fat.

Would you agree that cutting 500 calories from your daily intake isn’t out of the question?

Check out the calorie content of these common foods:

  • Beer (12 fluid ounces) 145kcal
  • Chicken club sandwich 610kcal
  • Coca Cola 154kcal
  • Croissant 200kcal
  • French Fries 227kcal
  • Milkshake 321kcal
  • Kit Kat biscuit 250kcal
  • Butter (1 tbsp) 100kcal
  • Cake 150kcal

For more info on the calories in food check out this detailed list.

Aim for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. If you’re losing faster than that, you may be losing muscle mass in addition to fat.

#7 Monitor your eating
There are a number of ways you can do this:

a) Count calories
While I’m aware that calorie counting isn’t for everyone, it’s very effective for some people. I’d suggest using Calorie King if you want to give it a go.

Keep a record of what you eat, and the calorie content, on an Excel spreadsheet. If you’re an Excel wiz you’ll be able to plot graphs or diagrams to show how you’ve progressed.

Writing down what you eat is a good way of highlighting problem areas in your diet. It can also be helpful in discouraging you from eating that icing clad chocolate muffin – you know you’ll have to record it in your diary later!

At the end of the week, review your entries for problem areas, such as:

  • Processed food
  • Anything high in fat, sugar, or salt
  • Excess alcohol
  • Fast food
  • Fried food
  • Sodas and fruit juice
  • Portion sizes

Try to be completely truthful as you carry out this exercise – if you have a Big Mac, followed by ice cream and coffee, note it down. Don’t start your new weight loss journey lying to yourself!

b) Weigh your food
Whether you use weighing scales or cup measurements, weighing your food can be an effective way to control how much you eat, and it’s often easier than counting calories.

If you’re unsure of what a portion of food is you can get books on the subject, or check out this article on visual portion sizes.

#8 Record your weight
I’d suggest weighing yourself once each week, preferably at the same time, such as before breakfast. To monitor your progress you should keep a record of your weekly weight.

I mentioned above using Excel to track your calorie intake, and I’d also suggest using the same to track your weekly weight.

#9 Improve your eating habits
Here are a few tips:

#10 Exercise more often
Unfortunately, exercise seems to be a bad word to some people. But, when paired with a reduced calorie diet, it goes hand in hand for losing weight.

If you’re completely serious about losing weight, and keeping if off for good, you need to be exercising regularly.

It doesn’t have to be an intense workout session at the gym though, even a short 20 minute walk will be beneficial if done most days of the week.

The trick is to choose an activity you really enjoy – something that gets you moving more than normal, for example team sports, aerobics, running, walking, swimming, cycling, or Pilates.

Why not encourage others to be more active too with these activities suitable for the whole family?

Various exercises and the calories they burn:

  • Step aerobics – 400kcals in 30 minutes
  • Running – 300kcals in 30 minutes
  • Spinning – 500kcals in 30 minutes
  • Walking – up to 180kcals in 30 minutes (increase by adding sprints, or going up hills)
  • Swimming breast stroke – 400kcals in 30 minutes
  • Bicycling – 250 to 500kcals in 30 minutes (depending on resistance and speed)

Note: the calories you burn during exercise is effected by – your weight, intensity of your workout, your metabolism – these are estimates.

For more info on calories burned during exercise, check out this detailed list.

#11 Persevere
Maintaining motivation is one of the most difficult aspects of losing weight.

But, if you’re prepared for those times when you feel like giving up, or when you seem to have stopped losing weight, you’ll be able to cope better.

It’s important that you don’t allow yourself to get upset – remember weight loss is a journey, setbacks are all part of the process, but it’s how you deal with them that really matters.

If you continue with your new way of eating and exercising, choosing not to allow setbacks to hinder your progress, you’ll finally see the results you want.

#12 Maintain your weight loss
Have you lost weight in the past, only to gain it all back on again, plus VAT, when you stopped your diet?

The reason for this is usually because your way of eating was a temporary cut back in unhealthy eating.

When you lose weight, you must stick with a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle, if you’re to maintain weight long-term.

This is precisely why I recommend following a healthy eating plan rather than a low carb, high protein diet (or insert other fad diet here!)

Weight loss is more about lifestyle change than anything else, so you need to make dietary changes that you’ll be able to stick with for life - if you make temporary changes right now, you’ll get temporary results in the future.

Free ebook
If you’re struggling to make lifestyle changes, check out my free ebook, “The Lifestyle Makeover Guide.” This is a step-by-step guide to help you break old habits that have held you back for years.

When you subscribe you’ll also receive my newsletters delivered straight to your inbox, where you’ll find out how to overcome overeating, lessons from skinny people, and how to eat dessert without the guilt factor.

Let me know what your secret to weight loss is, I’d love to hear your personal story!

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ruth November 7, 2008 at 9:17 am

Looking forward to reading your e book! I could cry. I’m such a yoyo. I do eat quite healthy as you know, but when I get the taste of something sweet ,that’s it, I’m off track. Again!!! How can I get a dislike for chocolate and buiscuits? Ok, so I never go beyond a 16/18 but hello! I should only be 10/12!!!! I need to stop eating sweet things completely, because once I get the taste, that’s it. So , yes it’s me again Mel. What’s knew.


Blake November 8, 2008 at 2:12 am

another great list of tips! thanks!


Melanie November 8, 2008 at 9:15 am

Hi Ruth,

Great to hear from you again!

It’s a difficult question, but did you realise you kind of answered it yourself when you said, “I need to stop eating sweet things completely?”

I think there are a number of options here:

a) Don’t bring it into the house

I know that’s difficult when you have others in the home, but it’s probably best for everyone. Armen and I have stopped buying sweet food too, because it’s expensive, and when it’s not here we don’t think of it. I usually just get a pack of plain biscuits, Ginger nuts or something, and sometimes bake biscuits or cake for a treat instead.

b) Have a ‘treat day’

One of my other readers does this regularly. I think her day is Friday, and she allows herself a chocolate fudge brownie, then that’s it, no more for the rest of the week. I think this could work because you get yourself into a different way of thinking about sweet food.

c) Have healthy snacks to replace the unhealthy

Things like:
- small handful of seeds – good because they take a while to eat
- small handful of nuts
- small handful of dried fruit – satisfy a sweet craving
- or you can also get the mixed nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
- raw veg with skinny tzatziki dip

Anyway, let me know what you think of the ebook – did you get it downloaded okay?

Hey Blake,

Thanks again!


Tom November 8, 2008 at 10:19 am

I’ve been very busy, and It’s been quite a while since i’ve been here. These are all really good tips. I took a look at your ebook and it looks really cool. I like how you stress the basics, as opposed to trying to capitalize on a crazy fad. Hopefully I’ll be able to start visiting more frequently, as you always have very sensible ideas.

Tom’s last blog post..Potential Breakthrough in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


Melanie November 8, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Hi Tom,

I did notice you hadn’t been around for some time. I’m glad you’re back! Is ‘Alive and Well Blog’ a new site of yours? I look forward to reading more over there too!

Thanks for downloading the ebook, any comments or suggestions on that are most welcome!! :-)


moses November 8, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I agreed to the part “make gradual changes”. This is what people usually forget. Don’t be so hurry. Everything needs time. And just do small changes everyday.
Nice mel!

moses’s last blog post..Fat stem cells help type II Diabetics


Tom November 9, 2008 at 8:32 am

We started the ‘Alive and Well Blog’ quite a while ago, but didn’t really know what we wanted to do with it, and pretty much put it on the back burner. I’ve decided that I’m going to start posting on there on now, although I’m still unsure as to what direction I am actually going to take it. Thanks for taking a look, and I’m definitely open to any tips or suggestions you or anybody else might have. I need all the help I can get.

Tom’s last blog post..Vitamin D May Help Protect Us From Radiation


Melanie November 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

Hey Moses,

Yes absolutely right! Any tips for helping others see that themselves?? Seems like the most common mistake people make!


Best wishes with the new blog. There are so many directions you could go in the topic of health, but I know it’s difficult finding something that hasn’t been covered already. I suppose the main thing is find something you love to talk about, then cover it better than any other blog you know of.


Family Nutritionist November 12, 2008 at 11:03 pm

If your doctor has labelled you “TFTB”, I think you need a new doctor. One who is less interested in making fun of you behind your back, and more interested in helping you improve your health. I know someone who was having trouble with inflammation on her legs. The doctor said it was due to her weight, and the solution was simply to lose weight. The patient said she was working on the weight but she needs the doctor to help her manage the inflammation NOW, and until the weight loss is sufficient to stop the inflammation. Surprisingly, the doctor was enlightened, and changed her attitude on how to work with bariatric patients. The patient actually MADE a new doctor.

Family Nutritionist’s last blog post..USDA Dietary Guidelines 2010


Melanie November 13, 2008 at 9:56 am

Hey Family Nutritionist,

Doctors can be so insensitive at times, can’t they? Maybe it’s a result of seeing so many sick people, they get desensitised to it! Possibly why your friend was so effective in enlightening her doc – she was reminded of her patients perspective again! Great story.


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