Weighty Matters: do what works!


With more than half of us either overweight or obese, losing weight is something many people need to work towards for both health and appearance sake.

Losing weight is easier than you may think, provided you know a few key tips. Use these tips to help you lean up in 2010:

  1. Eliminate all alcohol and soft drinks. Alcohol and soft drinks are rich in calories and provides no other nutrients. In addition, alcohol consumption increases the risk for dehydration and can take pose barriers to physical activity. Eliminating all alcohol and soft drinks is critical if you want to see results.
  2. Avoid eating out for the first one to two weeks of your program. Restaurant eating poses significant challenges to people who are struggling to lose weight. Resisting the urge to eat out during the early phases of a weight loss plan will help you to get off to a good start.
  3. Measure all foods and beverages that you eat for 1 week. Portion sizes impact calorie intake (e.g. larger portion = more calories). Measuring your foods will help you gain a visual appreciation for appropriate portion sizes.
  4. Record everything that you eat or drink. Recording your food intake will assist you in becoming more conscious of your eating habits; a key step towards long-term behavior change.
  5. Drink water every day, starting, if necessary, with small amounts and gradually increasing to 1 ½ to 2 liters (6 to 8 cups) daily.
  6. Have regular meals and snacks (e.g. eat something roughly every 3 hours during the waking part of your day). Do not skip meals and do not “under-eat”. Always sit down when you eat.
  7. Take a minute to think, if you feel you are hungry. Many adults struggle to differentiate between hunger and appetite. Hunger is the physical need for food and must be addressed by eating something. Appetite reflects a psychological interest in food and is not satisfied by eating. If you think you are hungry, stop; take a moment to assess how you are really feeling. If you decide you are truly hungry, choose a healthy snack based on your meal plan. If you are experiencing an “appetite attack,” distract yourself: go for a walk, meditate, call a friend to catch up.
  8. Plan to be active. Let’s be clear – adults do not lose weight and maintain the weight loss without exercising. If you are not active, the only way you can reduce your calorie balance enough to lose weight is through food. This raises problems because it requires you to really restrict your food choices! Be good to yourself – aim to be active for 60 minutes at least 6 days a week at a pace that you can sustain.
  9. Weigh yourself regularly. Weighing in will help you track your progress. In addition, weighing in keeps you focused. For best results weight in once a week on the same day and time.
  10. Expect to be challenged. Losing weight requires significant changes in behavior and behavior change is not easy. Forget what you’ve heard – there are no short cuts. The key to successful weight loss is consistency, planning, and resilience.
6 replies
  1. clau says:

    HOw can I make the right choice and change when your other half brings junk food in the house all the time…or even asks me to buy it …
    I need to lose the weight and do the right thing I just don’t know how to do it alone and tempted at every step…Plus I have a almost 2 years old daughter and she still wakes up at least 3 times every night….and at night when I feed her I feel even more tempted to eat junk
    How can I stay focused in the right direction
    Any tips ?

  2. Karen Peterson says:

    I found that when I started eating clean (fresh fruit, vegetables, whole foods, etc.), it wasn’t long before I lost my appetite for junk food. Sure, I still have my old favorites I find it hard to pass up (chicken wings and beer), but honestly, after a few weeks I started to find junk food disgusting to look at, smell or even think about. My husband brings home McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza, and sometimes candy, and he likes soft drinks, chips and dip and stuff like that. The smell is gross to me, and I have no desire to eat that crap. Have some healthy alternatives around, easy to grab – celery sticks, grapes, rice crisps, just to name a few. Drink a big glass of cold water, or brush your teeth. Those tricks worked for me in the beginning. When my family eats fast food I refry some pinto beans mixed with salsa and tuck them (mashed) in little tortillas and have burritos. I also found adding spice to things helped. Throw a little chili in there! Yum…
    When they (I have a teenager too) eat ice cream, I have frozen yogurt or a smoothie. I walk to the grocery store every two days and pick up fruit just for me. Strawberries, big oranges, grapes, bananas, but just two or three, just enough for a couple of days. Then you get yourself a variety, something different every time you go, light enough to carry home, and think of it as a treat. Lately I’ve had to pick up more, because the rest of the family is actually jealous and wants to eat my fruit! YOU be the influence, instead of BEING influenced! Yes? YES!

  3. clau says:

    Thank you for your response
    I am doing so much better now
    I started a new diet …a healthy way of living and I have implemented this new way to my whole family . Even if he snaks on junk I don’t want it and I am happy that at least the 3 important meals are healthy and home cooked .
    I’ll keep myself on track whith a food diary so I make sure I eat enough and that I don’t eat too much ….Just right and also I started aerobics which I love and Zumba ….these are 2 things that i really like to do and I can do it on my own and my 21 months old daughter follows .She love it it’s all play and fun for her too.I am trying to be the INFLUENCE :):):)
    Thanks again for your response.

  4. Halifax Girl says:

    I find it very hard watching what I eat/drink. My father worked for Pepsi for 26 years, so guess what I drank. When I was younger that didn’t affect me. I did eventually switch from reg. to diet pepsi. I am also a big choc. eater. Now I drink flavored water, and the odd occasion I will have diet pepsi, only if I run out of my yummy water (I hate reg. water blah). I also gave up on the yummy mini eggs that I could eat all the time. I now buy healthier snacks i.e all bran cocoa snacks. That gives me the choc I love. I get very confused as to what is healthy and what is not. Example: I heard Subway was good (I usually get a veggie sub) then I heard the bread was full of sodium. So I stopped eating there. It’s very frustrating when you think your eating healthy only to find out your not. I just wish all this hard work (eating healthy and exercising) took affect faster.

  5. Suzanne says:

    to add to Karen’s excellent tips for Clau:
    I made myself a challenge of trying a new fruit or vegetable everytime I went to the grocery store. The more exotic ones are more expensive, and since you don’t know if you’ll like it, just buy one. I found out that I love pomegranates and never did figure out what to do with the tomatillas.

    to Halifax Girl:
    Subway now offers flatbread in most locations I’ve seen, which is a better alternative at 480mg sodium vs a 6″ roasted garlic, but the 6″ whole wheat is only 390mg sodium (having had a blood pressure issue in the past, I’m hyper-concious of that sort of thing)

  6. clau says:

    Thank you Suzanne
    Good tip…I’ll give it a try .
    I have lost about 6 Lbs so far not very much but still something..I am a bit stuck right now …I;ll find a way to beat the plateu….work out harder I guess …
    Thanks again girls

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