Whether your goal is to fit into your favorite jeans or improve your health, working to reach and maintain a healthy weight can be challenging. To help you in achieving your weight management goals, here are some tips:
- Forget fads- Although trendy diets may result in weight loss early on, most people are not able to stick with them long term resulting in the weight returning and sometimes with a few additional pounds. Many fad diets can also restrict intake of important foods and food groups which can compromise nutrition and health. Long term weight loss is best achieved by making lifestyle changes that can be maintained for a lifetime.
- Eat breakfast daily- Research shows that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than those who skip the morning meal. Eating breakfast revs up your metabolism and also helps to reduce your urge to over-eat later on in the day.
- Don’t skip meals- Although it may seem that skipping meals will help to save on calories, you may be setting yourself up for over-eating later on in the day. Instead, eat healthy meals and snacks regularly throughout the day. Not only will you feel better and have more energy, regularly fueling your body will help keep your metabolism running efficiently.
- Plan ahead- Before heading to the grocery store, plan out your meals and snacks for the week. This will help you stick to a healthy eating plan and avoid visits to the drive thru window.
- Read food labels- It is important to familiarize yourself with the foods that you are eating to be successful at maintaining a healthy weight. Food labels are a great tool to help you choose healthy foods. While reading labels, make sure to pay attention to serving size as there may be multiple servings per package.
- Fill up on nutrient rich foods- When watching calories, it is important to choose your foods wisely to make sure you don’t fall short on important nutrients. In addition, filling up on healthy foods leaves less room for foods that are high in fat and calories. When it comes to shopping for and preparing meals and snacks, fill your shopping cart and plate with nutrient rich foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods and lean protein sources.
- Get fit with fiber- Fiber adds bulk to foods which can help us to feel fuller sooner, which may result in eating less. In addition, higher fiber foods tend to be lower in calories and fat and full of nutrients so including these foods can help you to eat a healthy diet. To increase your intake of fiber rich foods, eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
- Treat yourself- Try to choose healthy foods most of the time but do allow yourself to occasionally eat your favorite treats. This will help you to keep from feeling deprived and help you stick to your healthy eating plan. In addition, look for ways to lighten up your favorite foods such as preparing them with lower fat ingredients such as low-fat milk or using lower fat cooking methods such as grilling or baking.
- Keep a food journal- Research indicates that keeping track of what you eat can help you be more successful at weight management. Keeping a food journal can help you to monitor your food and beverage intake, identify areas that need improvement and increase accountability. Also consider recording your physical activity along with your food intake.
- Get moving- The key to maintaining a healthy weight is balancing your calories in and calories out. It is important to pay attention to the food you eat, but being physically active is equally important for both a healthy weight and healthy body. For general health, make sure to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. If your goal is to lose weight or prevent weight gain, aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
If you are looking for a meal that is low in calories but big on taste, try this Fish and Vegetable Casserole.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any particular illness or condition, nor is it intended to support any particular product or service. You should always consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes to your healthcare routine.