Recommendations for Weight Loss

Weight loss comes up often in nutrition and fitness. Good weight loss programs combine daily exercise and healthy eating choices. The individual desiring to lose weight will need to restrict total caloric intake (no more than 1,000 Calories per day lower than normally required). Safe weight loss programs never go below 1,200 Calories per day. Safe and effective weight loss should not exceed two pounds per week. Although this may seem slow to some, it is necessary to avoid creating a yo-yo effect as the body attempts to return to its original weight. Slow weight loss with regular exercise helps the body adjust to the new weight more readily. Some general recommendations include the following:

1. Record what you eat and when you eat. Record how you feel (hungry, lonely, tired, bored, depressed, starving, etc.) before and after each time you eat.

2. Watch your meal timing.

3. Small healthy snacks can help reduce hunger and maintain a higher metabolism.

4. Minimize saturated and hydrogenated fats.

5. Minimize sugary foods and refined foods. Fatty and sugary foods increase the likelihood of storing excess fats.

6. DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!!!! Your metabolism is highest early in the day. Denied food in the morning will only serve to slow down your metabolism. Translation: If you skip breakfast or wait too long between meals, your body will store more of the calories that it takes in during the next meal.

7. Do not go more than five hours without eating.

8. Eat your larger meals earlier in the day when your metabolism is highest. This also increases the efficiency of your fat burning throughout the day. Breakfast and lunch should be the largest meals.

9. Within two hours after exercise is one of the best times to eat. Your metabolism is very high then.

10. Mix protein (fish, egg whites, skinless chicken, skinless turkey, extra lean meats, lean lunch meats, legumes, soybean, dairy, low-fat cheeses, etc.) with carbohydrates every time you eat.

11. Read all labels.

12. No fried foods.

13. Use nonfat cooking sprays such as Pam.

14. Use monounsaturated oils, preferably olive oil (extra-virgin tastes best).

15. Increase fiber intake (25 to 35 grams per day).

16. Include strength training at least two days per week.

17. Include over 20 minutes of cardiovascular training most days of the week.

18. Choose fruit or other foods low in fat with a relatively low glycemic index instead of giving in to the “junk food” craving. Waiting 20 minutes after making a healthier choice often makes the craving go away.