Weight Control for Adults

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Weight control is a challenge! Long term success depends on new healthy eating habits that will be maintained throughout life.

Sensible Eating Tips

  • Base meals and snacks on whole, minimally processed foods that are low in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Avoid crash diets. Think healthy! Believe the magic is within you, not a fad diet or pill.
  • Plan ahead and set up scheduled times to eat three meals and 2-3 snacks a day.
  • Stick to a shopping list. 
  • Smaller, more frequent meals are better than one or two large meals if you are trying to lose weight.
  • Don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast.
  • Avoid buying high-calorie, high-fat and low-nutrient foods that are tempting.
  • Make foods that are high in solid fats—such as cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, cheese, sausages, and hot dogs—occasional choices, not every day foods. 
  • Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with a lower number.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. 
  • Keep lower calorie foods handy, like vegetables, especially for snacking.
  • Pick restaurants that offer a variety of healthy menu items. Request sauces on the side. Share a serving with someone.
  • Weigh yourself once per week around the same time. A steady, slow weight loss of one to two pounds per week is best! Or better yet, gage your success by how you feel and how your clothes fit! Your health and happiness are more important than the number of the scale!
  • Keep all foods in the kitchen. Eat all meals in a designated place, like the kitchen table. Never eat in front of the TV.
  • Measure your servings and keep a food diary.
  • Use smaller plates so portions look larger. Stop eating when full. It is OK to leave food on the plate.
  • Eat and chew food slowly. Put utensils down between bites.
  • Leave the table after eating a meal. Put away all leftovers right away to avoid second servings.
  • Use non-food items for rewards!
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
  • It’s okay to eat a larger or smaller portion. Just remember: It’s your total diet balanced over time that counts.
  • Enjoy all foods, just don’t overdo it. A healthy eating plan can — and should —include all the foods you like. After all, food is more than just fuel —it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures! Here’s the secret: just don’t overfill your body with any one food.

Learn your hunger and satiety cues

  • Before eating, ask yourself if you really want the food. If not truly hungry, do something to keep your mind off food.
  • Before, halfway and after you eat, do a “satiety check” to see if your stomach is feeling “comfortably satisfied” vs. stuffed.

Use the Hunger/Satiety Scale

  • 0 = Starving and beyond.
  • 1 = So hungry you want everything on the menu.
  • 2 = Everything on the menu begins to look good. May be preoccupied with your hunger.
  • 3 = You are hungry and the urge to eat is strong.
  • 4 = A little hungry. You can wait to eat, but you know you will be getting hungrier soon.
  • 5 = Neutral. Not hungry. Not full.
  • 6 = No longer hungry. You sense food in your belly, but you could definitely eat more.
  • 7 = Hunger is definitely gone. Stop here, and you may not feel hungry again for 3-4 hours.
  • 8 = Not uncomfortable, but definitely have eaten a belly full.
  • 9 = Moving into uncomfortable.
  • 10 = “Thanksgiving full.” Very uncomfortable, maybe even painful.

Enjoy tasty favorites without overdoing it

  • Order once, enjoy twice. Eat half your steak in the restaurant. Take the rest home to savor tomorrow in a steak salad with juicy-ripe tomatoes or a beef broccoli stir-fry.
  • Do bacon and eggs make your tastebuds sizzle? Order them up occasionally with whole grain toast and fresh fruit.
  • Bike with the family to the ice cream shop. Savor a single scoop instead of a double.
  • At the gourmet coffee shop, make yours a cafe latte made with fat-free milk and a crunchy biscotti loaded with dried fruit.
  • Snack from a plate, not from the bag, to stay aware of how much you’re eating.
  • It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach’s had enough. Savor foods slowly —you’ll eat less, enjoy them more and avoid feeling stuffed.
  • Take a break from the usual fried chicken, and trim fat and calories, too. You’ll cluck at how great it tastes roasted, broiled or grilled instead.
  • Enjoy fruit and vegetable juice for one or two of your “five-a-day” servings. Get your other servings from whole fruits and vegetables, which taste great and provide fiber, too.
  • If you usually load up your baked potato with butter and sour cream, taste- test using just one or the other. Or, use half the usual amount of each.
  • Donuts for breakfast every day? Swap for a chewy cinnamon raisin or blueberry bagel a few times each week.
  • Craving a cheeseburger from your favorite fast food place? Skip the bacon and special toppings. Split an order of fries with a friend or exchange them for a crispy side salad. Get your vitamin C with a refreshing orange juice or boost your calcium with low-fat milk or a low-fat shake.

Make the healthy choice

  • Baked potato instead of French fries
  • Whole grain crackers instead of chips
  • Fruit instead of cookies, candy, and pie
  • Whole wheat toast instead of doughnuts or cake
  • Plain yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Baked/broiled chicken instead of fried chicken
  • Water instead of kool-aid, punch, and pop
  • Tuna, chicken instead of hot dogs, bologna
  • Hamburger patty instead of bacon, sausage

Remember these quick tips

  • Sweets and fried foods are high in calories
  • Avoid buying high calorie foods
  • Broil, bake, boil, or steam instead of frying
  • Limit fats such as margarine, butter, lard, oil, mayonnaise and salad dressing
  • Fruits and vegetables are low calorie snacks
  • Keep empty calories (food or drinks with minimal nutrition like pop, chips, cookies, pop-tarts, etc) to 260 calories of your 2,000 calorie diet

This post was last updated on December 18th, 2019 at 1:56 PM

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