Successful weight management is a long-term way of life, not a “quick-fix.” It takes commitment to make eating and behavior changes to maintain weight loss. Use the following tips to get started on the healthy way to long-term weight loss.
Losing weight to please someone else is a losing battle. You must want to do it for yourself, for your own health and well-being. Only by doing it for yourself will you be committed to making the lifestyle changes necessary for long-term weight loss.
While you might want to lose 40 pounds, it will not be easy to reach that goal in a short time period. Instead, look to smaller weight loss goals over short periods of time that are realistic and attainable. Even a 5 to 10 pound weight loss can bring major physical and psychological benefits.
It takes time to change habits! Be patient! Consider making only one or two changes each month. Start by choosing something easy for you to accomplish. For example, if you normally drink four regular sodas per day, reduce your consumption to one or two per day, or switch to diet soda. Making small changes will add up to big benefits over time.
Giving up your favorite but-not-so-healthy foods is a sure way to fail. Instead, learn to eat them less often and in smaller amounts.
Exercising on a routine basis 30-45 minutes a day will help you lose weight and once you’ve reached your goal, will help you keep it off. Look for ways to increase your daily activity level. For example, take the stairs rather than the elevator, park further from the store in the parking lot, or do your own house or yard work.
Here are three ways to achieve the weight loss you desire:
Achieving weight loss on your own requires a certain amount of discipline. Using the MyPlate website to guide you, you can manage the calories you consume and ensure that you get a healthy balance of foods. One size doesn’t fit all since the number of calories and portions you need from every food group depends on your age, your gender, size, and how active your are. The MyPyramid.gov website has a number of tools like the MyPyramid Tracker and the MyPyramid Menu Planner to help you personalize a plan just for you.
The key to a healthy diet is to eat foods from all the groups, but eat fewer servings, with caution about adding fats such as butter, margarine, salad dressing, etc., which add lots of calories. Combine this with regular physical activity and you can expect to lose about ½ to 2 pounds per week – a safe rate of weight loss.
For most people, eating between 1,400 to 1,600 calories with foods from each food group on the MyPyramid.gov website is a good way to start a healthy weight loss plan.
You’ll be most successful if you measure your servings of food, whenever possible. will help you keep from overestimating, or even underestimating, the size of your portion.
The letters "R.D." after a person’s name signify that she/he has completed academic and experience requirements. These are established by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for American Dietetic Association, and include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university, or equivalent, and an approved pre-professional experience program.
R.D.s demonstrate their knowledge of food and nutrition by successfully passing a national credentialing exam and by completing ongoing continuing professional development.
A registered dietitian, someone who is educated, trained, and certified in nutrition, can help you get on the right track to good health. The dietitian will assist you in developing an eating plan that you can live with – one that is focused on the long term, not just a current weight loss effort.
Working with you in a private, one-on-one situation, the dietitian’s recommended plan will take into account your individual needs, your medical history, family situation, your eating and exercising habits, food preferences, travel and dining out routines, and quite importantly, your budget.
Is a commercial weight loss program right for you? The following questions will help you evaluate programs you are considering. Answering “yes” to most of these questions will increase your chances for long-term weight loss.
Does it require group meetings or counseling? Must you buy their prepackaged foods or can you purchase supermarket foods?
If not, it’s not healthful.
Sample it first. If that’s not allowed, don’t join.
If you travel or socialize a lot, take that into consideration.
Shedding 25 pounds could cost more than $1,000 on some programs and less than $50 on others.
A good program teaches you how to live a healthier lifestyle and provides on-going support for maintaining weight loss.
Regular physical activity is key to keeping the weight off.
There are a variety of options to help you lose weight and keep it off. The key to successful weight loss is making changes in your eating and physical activity habits that you will be able to maintain for the rest of your life.
What counts as 1 cup?
What counts as 1cup?
What counts as an ounce equivalent?
Sandwich made with:
Menu’s totals: 1,489 calories, 26 grams fiber, 112 milligrams cholesterol, 42 grams fat, 800 milligrams calcium, 1800 milligrams sodium.
*Appropriate beverages include water or other non-caloric drinks
Extension's Communication Team
Wilson, M., 2000, Healthy Weight Loss, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-00-36
An EEO/AA Institution. Copyright ©
2024, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
A partnership of Nevada counties; University of Nevada, Reno; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture