If losing weight is one of your health goals, it’s important to know the best ways to shed unwanted pounds. As you might expect, fad diets are not the answer. In addition to depriving your body of the variety of nutrients you need to stay healthy, fad dieting is not sustainable, and many people eventually regain the weight.
The best approach to weight loss – and maintaining an ideal weight – is to develop good eating habits and lifestyle behaviors that include regular physical activity. Here are some tips:
Choose fruits and vegetables – Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Be sure to select a variety to ensure you’re getting all the nutrition you need.
Manage portion sizes – Be mindful of portions. Because portion sizes have increased in recent years, cutting portion sizes in half can help you manage daily calorie intake. Serve dinner on salad-size plates instead of dinner plates or pack snacks in small baggies instead of reaching into the box or bag. When dining out, consider ordering a half portion or share an entrée with a spouse or friend.
Eliminate the junk – Take time to rid your pantry and refrigerator of junk food and foods that are high in calories, fat or sugar. Stock up on fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods. Avoid drinks like sodas and fruit juices that contain sugar.
Eat small meals several times a day – Instead of three large meals, plan to eat five or six times daily, spacing these smaller meals three to four hours apart. This helps keep your metabolism burning calories throughout the day.
Get moving – Schedule time for physical activity. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, each week. Divide the 150 minutes into small blocks of time – 10 to 20 minutes – if it’s easier to schedule these shorter periods into your day.
Talk to your primary care doctor about your ideal weight and ask for additional advice to help you achieve success with weight loss or in maintaining optimal weight.