The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 34 percent of Americans are obese and more than 33 percent are overweight. Reaching a healthy weight can improve your overall health and well being. Weight loss can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and it can improve circulation and strengthen the heart. Weight loss is often more difficult for some people than others because it requires significant changes in your lifestyle, eating and exercise routines. It takes time to exercise and to plan meals, and unfortunately, extra time is not available to do this. The key here is to eat less and burn more through exercise. Remember the best exercise is to push yourself away from the table and control your portion sizes.
Other weight loss tips:
Here are a few tips to help you reach your weight goal.
- Start with a plan.
- Set a realistic weight goal. A weight loss of about ½-1 pound per week is realistic.
- Plan your meals ahead of time. This will help keep you on track.
- Don’t skip meals. People tend to overeat at the next meal, which can result in more weight gain.
- Eat regular meals and snacks. Sometimes eating 3 smaller meals with 3 small snacks can result in more successful weight loss than eating 2 larger meals. Meals should include a variety of foods from all food groups.
- Keep a record of what you eat. It makes you think about your food choices and portions. Eat smaller portions. Try changing from a dinner plate to a smaller plate. Start your meal with low calorie foods, such as vegetables, salad and fruit.
- Drink more water, which will make you feel fuller. Then start with the main course.
- Reduce your intake of foods that contain fat.
- Choose 1% or skim milk.
- Try low-fat cheese and ice creams.
- Reduce foods that are cooked in fat. Instead of frying chicken, bake it in the oven.
- Add salsa to a baked potato instead of margarine or butter.
- Always bake, broil or grill meats.
- Try not to use food as “comfort.”
- Try to understand what triggers you to eat. Make this a part of your food record. Are you eating more because you are stressed or sad? Try finding healthier ways to cope, such as a new hobby, talking with a friend, or taking a walk.
- Get moving. The only way to burn the calories we take in is to exercise. When we exercise, we build muscle, and we can change our muscles into fat-burning machines. To start, aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily, but start slowly. Do 10 minutes a day then every week, add another 5 minutes.