Helpful Guidelines for Successful Weight Loss

Weight loss should occur when you eat fewer calories than you burn. Increasing physical activity while limiting your calories will increase your rate of weight loss. Increasing physical activity will also help you to maintain your weight after weight loss. Discuss appropriate calorie levels and serving sizes with your dietitian.
1. Keep a written food and physical activity journal.
2. Weigh yourself once per week at the same time of day, with the same amount of clothing, and on the same scale.
3. Eat breakfast everyday and do not skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to extreme hunger, overeating and poor food choices.
4. Plan your meals and eat around the same time every day. Helpful Guidelines for Successful Weight Loss1
5. Pick an eating area at home and/or work.
6. Turn off the TV and/or computer during meals and snacks.Helpful Guidelines for Successful Weight Loss1
7. Eat slowly. Take 30 minutes for a meal. It takes 20 minutes before you feel full, so wait 20 minutes after your first serving before taking a second serving.
8. Eat protein foods first to help you feel full sooner.
9. Read food labels to help control portions of food.
10. Eat less fat and sugar. Eat more fiber, including fresh fruits/vegetables and whole grains.
11. Limit restaurant and fast food meals.
12. Don’t keep problem foods around the house and/or at work. A problem food is a food that you are likely to eat too much of or too often if readily available.
13. Drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of liquids per day. Focus on calorie-free, caffeine-free beverages.
14. Get adequate sleep each night (7-9 hours).

Food Preparation

Use low fat cooking methods such as baking, grilling, boiling, poaching, broiling, roasting, steaming or microwaving without additional fat.
Avoid or limit frying.
Place meat on a rack so the fat will drain off during cooking.
Remove skin from poultry before cooking.
Trim all visible fat from food before cooking.
Use non-stick cookware or cooking sprays.
Use egg whites or egg substitute in place of whole eggs.
Season food with spices, butter flavoring (such as Butter Buds), lemon or low-fat dressings.
Limit high-fat sauces or gravies such as sour cream, regular salad dressings, full-fat gravy, and cream or cheese sauces.
Use a sugar substitute in place of sugar. Replace sugar in recipes with a sugar substitute that can be used in baking or cooking.

Restaurant Eating/Take-Out

Limit appetizers, bread with butter, and chips.

Select a salad with light dressing on the side or broth-based soup as your first course.

Choose foods prepared using low fat cooking methods.

Request sauces, dressings,and gravies on the side.Clinical Dietitians, Food & Nutrition Services, UC Davis Medical Center. 6 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

Place a portion of your meal in a take-home container before you start eating.

Share an entrée with a friend.

Consider purchasing a pocket-sized calorie counter book to help make healthy choices.

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