Weight loss should occur when you eat fewer calories than you use. Increasing physical activity while limiting your calories will help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Talk to your dietitian about your calorie needs to achieve your weight loss goals.
Be mindful of your daily food intake.
Keep a written food journal.
o Read food labels to learn serving sizes and calories of foods you eat.
o Turn off the TV and computer during meals and snacks.
o Eat slowly and enjoy the meal.
Make smart food choices. For example:
o Eat breakfast every day and do not skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to extreme hunger, over-eating, and poor food choices.
o Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and dairy.
o Limit high fat, high sugar foods.
o Decrease your portion size.
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o Choose calorie-free, caffeine-free beverages.
o Limit restaurant and fast food meals by cooking at home more often.
Be more active
o Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. Increase the time you spend moving each day.
o Use a journal to track your physical activity.
Monitor your progress
o Weigh yourself once per week at the same time of day.
o Keep track of body measurements (waist, hip, thigh, and upper arm).
Use low-fat cooking methods such as baking, grilling, boiling, poaching, broiling, roasting, steaming, or microwaving without adding fat.
Place meat on a rack so the fat will drain off during cooking.
Trim all visible fat and skin from poultry and meat before cooking.
Use nonstick cookware or cooking sprays.
Use egg whites or egg substitute in place of whole eggs
Season food with spices, butter flavoring (such as Butter Buds ), lemon, or lowfat/nonfat dressings.
Limit high-fat sauces, gravies, sour cream, regular salad dressings, full-fat gravy, and cream or cheese sauces (such as Hollandaise or Alfredo sauce).
Replace sugar in recipes with pureed fruit or a sugar substitute that can be used in baking or cooking.
Don’t be shy about making special requests. Many restaurant foods can fit into a healthy diet if prepared with less salt and low-fat ingredients.
o Request sauces, dressings, and gravies on the side.
o Request that no salt be added to your entrée.
If you order pasta, choose tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based sauces
Limit appetizers, bread with butter, and chips.
Select a salad with light dressing on the side or a broth-based soup.
o When ordering salads, avoid high-fat dressings, croutons, and cheese that add extra calories.
Place a portion of your meal in a take-home container before you start eating or share an entrée with a friend.
Ask for the nutrition information from the restaurant to help you choose low-calorie, low-fat menu items.
Order a salad or fresh fruit on the side instead of fries.
The plate method can be helpful in limiting calories and choosing the right amount of food items for meals.
Check List for Your Meal:
1 serving starch
1 serving nonfat or 1% milk
1 serving lean protein Nonstarchy vegetables (excludes potato, peas and corn)
1 serving fruit
Tips for Serving Sizes
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Use measuring cups or a food scale to measure dry and liquid foods. This will help you learn what a serving size looks like. Use the table below for reference.
Use smaller plates, bowls, and cups to naturally limit your portion sizes.
Some food servings can be compared to common household items, which may make for easier estimation of your portion. Examples:
o 3 oz cooked meat, poultry, or fish is about the size of a deck of cards.
o 1 oz cheese (1 string cheese) is equal to about the size of 4 playing dice.
o 1 serving of fresh fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.
o 3 oz baked potato is about the size of a small computer mouse.
Eating Habits and Emotions
Eating habits are behaviors that we do every day, often without thinking. Harmful eating habits can lead to overeating and weight gain. Examine your eating habits and replace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones to maintain your weight.
Emotional eating means eating food in response to feelings (such as stress, boredom, anger, and being tired) rather than hunger.
The first step is to identify the reason for your feelings and to deal with the primary problem. Changing emotional eating also means finding new ways to address these feelings without food, because food will not solve the problem.
Tips for emotional eating:
Keep a diary to track food and emotions. Write down how you’re feeling before you eat to identify triggers for food cravings.
Do not keep problem foods around the house and/or at work. A problem food is a food that you are likely to eat too much of or too often.
Get adequate sleep each night (7–9 hours).
Try other activities as alternative ways to celebrate, comfort, nurture or distract yourself.
o Take a walk
o Call a friend o Listen to music
o Paint your nails Changing behavior takes hard work and perseverance!
o Work on a word puzzle o Read a book, magazine or blog
o Organize or clean a small area in your house
Tips to Become More Physically Active
Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
For the most health benefits, aim for 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, about 60 minutes each day.
Exercise can be broken up into 10-minute increments.
Include a mix of aerobic exercises (running, walking, swimming), stretching, and strength training (weight-lifting) every week.
Find activities you enjoy and spread physical activity throughout the day.
Bring a change of clothes to work and exercise before you go home.
Decrease sitting time. Add more steps into your daily schedule.
o Use a pedometer to track your steps.
o Take the stairs, not the elevator.
o Park farther away from work or the store.
o Walk or bike instead of driving to work or the store.
o Take one item up or down the stairs at a time instead of everything in one trip.
o Try to get up at least five minutes for every one hour you are sitting.
If you have joint pain or are unable to walk, try chair aerobics, swimming, or biking.