Here are some proven ways to shed extra pounds adapted from a recent article in Environmental Nutrition newsletter:
Don't believe in magic. There is no secret formula or food that will make weight fall off your body without effort. Be especially careful if a diet plan eliminates an entire food group.
Pay attention to calories. They really do count. A proven strategy for weight loss is to eat small portions of low-calorie foods.
Spread calories over the day. Studies show that people who skip meals tend to eat more calories and have trouble losing weight. Goal is three small meals a day.
Eat more high volume, low-calorie foods. A plateful of food does not have to be a plateful of calories. Two cups of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cucumber, for example are full of nutrients and fiber for a mere 50 calories.
Focus on nutrient-rich foods. Several studies show that eating foods high in nutrients and low in calories is an effective strategy for weight loss.
Move it, move it, move it! Research continues to show that exercise COMBINED with a good diet plan can help us lose weight without starving. The goal? At least 30 minutes of activity most days plus at least 2 days a week of muscle strengthening exercise.
Eat more fiber. It may be one of the most important hunger-controlling nutrients we know of, say experts. Where is fiber? Only in foods that begin life in the ground: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and other plant-based foods.
Eat fewer SoFAS. That's nutrition-eze for "Solid Fats and Added Sugars." Solid fats can be identified on food labels by checking for "saturated" or "trans fats." Don't drink your calories. One 12-ounce soda adds 150 liquid calories.
Learn "portion control." Eating half our usual intake is a proven way to eat half our usual calories ... and lose weight.
Create a meal plan. A good place to start is www.myplate.gov to access "SuperTracker." It will show you a weight loss plan that works — for life.
— MCT Information Services