Question: What is the best way to lose weight?
Answer: The best way to lose weight is to make healthy lifestyle changes. Make changes that you can stick to for the rest of your life, not just for a few weeks or months.
Losing one to two pounds a week is recommended. When diets state that you can lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, you are more likely going to gain that weight back because you have not made a specific lifestyle change. Below are some tips to help with weight loss:
- Keep a diary of the foods and amounts you eat for three days. Then, look it over and see where you can make small changes. For example, instead of having four cookies, try to decrease it to two cookies. Try low fat milk or water instead of regular cola. Have a low fat yogurt with your granola bar to increase your calcium intake.
- Try to decrease your calorie intake by 500 each day (3500 calories/week) to help loose about one pound by eating well. Weight loss is based on calories.
- Choose fat free milk instead of whole milk to save 70 calories
- Choose a baked potato instead of 4 oz. of French fries to save 20 grams of fat
- Pick graham crackers instead of chocolate chip cookies to save 26 calories per ounce.
- Have a piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, banana) instead of a candy bar.
- Don’t set too many goals at once. We can get frustrated if we set too many goals and are not able to meet all of them. One week, set one realistic goal, such as increasing your fruits and vegetables by two servings. Once you meet that goal, the next week, set another realistic goal, like exercising two times a week instead of one. Making changes gradually helps us feel better and keeps us motivated!
- Incorporate exercise. It is recommended to get 30 minutes of activity a day on most to all days of the week to maintain your weight. The new dietary guidelines are recommending that individuals trying to lose weight should exercise 60-90 minutes on most days of the week. Keep in mind that this does not always mean going to the gym or getting on your exercise bike. This can mean cleaning the house, gardening, hiking or going for a walk. Also, you don’t have to exercise 60-90 minutes at one time. Break this up throughout the day. During lunch, go for a walk to stretch your legs. Then, after work, do yard work..
- Healthy snacking. Snacks are a great way to help you get the nutrients your body needs each day. Many of us get into the habit of snacking on foods that are higher in calories and lower in nutritional value. Try having pretzels, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, a fruit smoothie or cucumber slices.
- Eat a variety of foods – fruits and vegetables (they are naturally low in fat and calories), whole grains, lean meats, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products.
- Reward yourself with non-food items once in a while to keep you motivated.
- Have your family members set healthy goals for themselves so you can encourage each other.
- Plan ahead. Plan meals in advance – this way you won’t have to go through a drive thru because you don’t have time to plan a meal for the night. Take advantage of the weekly menu that is on our website.
- Visit mypyramid.gov for a general health plan that is right for you. You can also keep track of the foods and amounts you eat on this site. For a more specific meal plan, contact a registered dietitian at your local hospital to see if you can set up a consultation.
You may not see a decrease in weight overnight, but don’t get frustrated. Making small changes that you can stick with will help your health and weight in the end.
Thu, December 31, 2009
by Janine Faber filed under