With countless diets, programs and products promising to help you shed pounds, it should be easy. But as any veteran dieter knows, it's hard to lose weight. It's even harder keeping it off.
Simply eating too much and not being active enough is the cause of people being overweight. Too many people concentrate on losing pounds to improve appearance, when the primary focus of weight control should be to achieve and maintain good health.
To get the proper daily nutritional value:
-Eat a variety of foods
-Eat a high-fiber diet (choose more grains, fruits and vegetables instead of protein, fats and sugar)
-Maintain a low-fat, low cholesterol diet (eat no more than 30% of calories from fat, including only 10% from saturated fat)
-Use moderate amounts of salt and sodium and choose sugar substitutes
-Limit alcoholic intake
Often the first step to a good diet lies in changing food and eating behavior:
-Don't skip meals
-Eat a series of small meals throughout the day and avoid a big meal late in the evening
-Eat and chew slowly
-Use a smaller-sized plate to achieve a "full plate"
-Don't go back for seconds
-Bake or broil food instead of frying
-Order from light menus and purchase low-calorie or low-fat foods (remember that low-fat does not necessarily mean low-calorie)
-Learn about food values and make healthy combinations in meals
-Reward yourself with non-food pleasures
-Ounce for ounce, fat provides more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate (nine calories vs. four). This energy difference may explain how fat promotes weight gain. Yet even when calories are the same, a person eating a high-fat diet tends to store more excess calories as body fat than someone eating a lower-fat diet.
-For many people, maintaining a desirable weight and body fat percentage can only be achieved through an integrated program of nutrition and exercise-or balancing energy intake with energy expenditure. If you're overweight, shedding pounds often results in reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases. Even small weight losses can have significant health benefits.