Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can improve overall health and well-being.
Weight loss can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve circulation, and strengthen the heart muscles. However, weight loss can be extremely difficult, because it requires significant changes in lifestyle, eating and exercise habits and routines. It also requires time for exercise and meal planning.
The key to losing weight is to eat appropriate portion sizes and to burn calories through exercise.
Here are several tips to help reach weight loss goals:
- Start with a plan.
- Set a realistic weight goal. A weight loss of ½-1 pound per week is realistic.
- Plan meals ahead of time.
- Do not skip meals. This will help avoid overeating at the next meal.
- Eat regular meals and snacks. Eating 3 smaller meals and 3 small snacks can result in greater weight loss than just eating 2 larger meals.
- Keep a record of food eaten. This forces you to think about food choices and portions.
- Eat smaller portions. Try changing from a large plate to a smaller plate.
- Start a meal with low-calorie foods, such as vegetables, salad and fruit.
- Drink water before eating. This will make you feel fuller.
- Limit high-fat foods, foods cooked in fat, and fried foods.
- Select low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt.
- Bake, broil or grill meat; do not fry it.
- Avoid using food as "comfort." Try to find a healthy alternative.
- Pay attention to what triggers you to eat and record it. Try to find healthier ways to cope with these triggers.
- Get moving! Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day to start. Add 10 minutes a day every week; then add another 5 minutes. Find an activity you enjoy - walking with a friend, swimming, playing tennis, riding a bike in a park - and keep with it!