I recently wrote a blog about employing moderation when losing weight. Moderation in all things, including slow and sustained weight loss, is not sexy. It doesn't get anyone excited. It is like a beige pants suit. Something your mother might have worn to a PTA function in the early 1970's. Nevertheless, I am suggesting that you try it on.

When I wrote that blog, I failed to mention HOW to employ this idea of moderation. Typical, right? I convince you to try my concept, and then neglect to define it in any clear terms. Well, today I plan to remedy that. Here is one example of a plan for moderate, slow and sustained weight loss.

Step One: Write down everything you eat. I know, this is some tired, old advice you have heard before. Of course you have, because it is GOOD advice! Studies have shown that when participants take the time to write down everything they eat on a daily basis, they automatically begin to lose weight. Without employing any type of diet guidelines, just by noticing and paying attention to what goes into your mouth, you will begin to make some small but significant changes. If you have a smart phone or a small camera, you can snap a picture of your food each time you eat (or drink!) but at the end of the day, you will still need to write everything down in your food journal. This act of listing all the choices you have made throughout the day is significant. Simply snapping the photos is not enough. Try to be as detailed as possible, listing amounts (just estimate if you are not sure) of each food eaten.

Step Two: Once you have established your eating habits and carefully listed them for at least a week, you can begin to cut back on your total food intake by a very tiny amount. Maybe a total of 100 calories per day. This is equivalent to approximately one small apple or one piece of bread. If this feels like too much, then do less. Make your usual breakfast and leave one bite on the plate. Do the same at lunch and dinner. Make the changes so small that your belly will not even notice the difference. Still eat all the same exact foods you have been eating, unless you discover you no longer want something. Let your weight loss sneak up on you.

Step Three: Add a tiny amount of exercise to your daily routine. If you are already running or walking or biking daily, add a little bit of strength training. Say, 10 push-up's. That's all. It should take about 1 minute. Try to do them every single day. If you are already strength-training, add a small amount of aerobic conditioning. Try a brisk walk, jog, run, swim, or bike ride. Make it short: just 5-10 minutes. Or just do 50 jumping jacks. Again, make the amount so small that you would feel ridiculous saying that you can't do it. Then make it happen every day.

After about a month, assess your progress. Check your weight, your measurements, and how well your clothes fit. Did you lose some weight? Fat? Inches? Even if everything stayed the same, notice how you feel. If you are feeling better, thinner, more energetic, happier, then the process is working. The results should be showing up on the scale or tape measure soon. When you feel ready, take another tiny step. Add a bit more exercise and cut back on the empty calories your body doesn't really need. Small changes can be very powerful changes if they become permanent.