A proper diet and regular exercise can
help you lose weight. Keep a food diary for a few days (record everything you eat), and try doing an accurate
calorie count to see how much you are eating now. To start losing weight, you will need to reduce your calorie intake by about
500 calories. Reduce your portion size, avoid second helpings, and cut out high fat, high sugar, and high calorie
foods. A lifelong low-fat and well-balanced diet is the goal. Short term fad diets don't work in the long
Exercise regularly - start slowly, but aim for 30-60 minutes of moderate
exercise 5-7 days of the week. The best exercise is one that you enjoy doing and can
fit into your schedule.
Educate yourself. Read food nutrition labels and
know what you are eating. Some "low-fat" foods are still high in sugar and calories.
Limit fat intake to less than 25% of total calories (less than 50 grams of fat for an 1800 calorie diet).
Especially important is to minimize trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats. These are most commonly
found in meat and dairy products, fried foods, and baked goods like cakes, cookies, and pies. Go "meatless" (vegetarian)
most days of the week. Avoid solid fats like butter, lard, margarine and vegetable shortening, and avoid tropical oils
like coconut and palm. When cooking with oils, choose healthier alternatives like canola, corn, safflower, or
Limit salt intake to less than 2000mg of sodium daily, especially
if you have high blood pressure or swollen legs. Don't add salt at the table, and avoid foods that taste salty.
Read labels to see what foods are high in sodium, but especially avoid salty snack foods, canned foods, processed foods, soups,
and cured meats. Look for sodium-free or low-sodium alternatives.
Increase fiber intake.
Look for a high fiber breakfast cereal and other whole grain products. Vegetables, beans, and short-grain brown rice
are good sources of fiber.
Drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses daily).
Limit cholesterol intake to less than 200mg daily, especially if you have a high cholesterol level. Cholesterol is
found in all animal products like meat, chicken, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
Eat less of these foods:
Soda and sports drinks like Gatorade
Juice (high in sugar -- eat the
whole fruit instead)
Oil, fat, butter, margarine
Fried and greasy foods, French fries, "fast foods"
Whole milk and dairy
Sweets, candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream
Fatty meats, beef, ribs, bacon, sausage
Mayonnaise, salad dressing, peanut butter
White bread, rice, and pasta
Try some of these
High fiber cereal like "Kashi"
Whole grain and whole wheat bread
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetarian meat substitutes like "Morningstar Farms
Low Fat Veggie Patties"
Egg whites or "Egg Beaters" instead of
Non-fat low-calorie salad dressing
Skinless chicken breast (one serving is 2-3 ounces, the size of a deck of cards)
salmon or tuna, baked or broiled (one serving is 2-3 ounces, the size of a deck of cards)
"Butter Buds" or "Smart Squeeze" butter substitutes
Ketchup, mustard, or salsa instead of mayonnaise
Diet soda or other diet drinks like
"Crystal Light" if you must drink something sweet
Low fat snacks like
fruit, air-popped popcorn, salt-free pretzels, low-fat graham crackers, low-fat yogurt, sugar-free gum or candy, baked tortilla