Weight Loss

Obesity and weight loss are hot topics across the United States. Obesity alone is one of the greatest health threats to the American Health System. 80% of adult weight loss goals can be completed through diet changes. Below are some simple steps you can make to help with weight loss in addition to increasing physical activity.

  • Losing one pound per week is a healthy amount to lose per week:
    • You must be at a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound, so on average, the math works out that you must eat 500 calories less or burn 500 calories more per day to lose one pound per week.
  • Clean plate club isn’t necessarily what you should aim for! 
    • In the U.S. we consistently eat more than the recommended serving size. For example, a serving size of chicken is 3 ounces which is about the size of a deck of cards. Instead, our portions, what we actually eat, are larger than recommended, and we end up consuming more calories than we intend to! 
    • Use a smaller plate when making meals and pay attention to the serving size when plating! 
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently. 
    • If using smaller plates and paying attention to serving vs portion sizes doesn’t work for you. 
  • Get quality sleep! 
    • Quality sleep has been linked to less weight gain. 
  • Calculate your energy requirements based off your age and activity level:
    • Use the number you get as a guide for your amount of calories needed per day. 
  • Don’t drink your calories!
    • Some drinks have so much sugar in them that when you drink them, you are drinking the amount of sugar equivalent to a piece of cake. If you love your sugary coffee drinks, don’t cut them out completely, but start asking for one pump of syrup or the sugar free option.
  • You need sustainable weight loss – not fad diets!
    • I am a fan of the “adding things in and limiting, not eliminating” plan to dieting. Instead of saying that you cannot ever eat a piece of bread or red meat, cut down on the amount that you eat and add a serving or two of vegetables into a meal instead.
    • Choose healthier, more nutritious versions of the food you love. For the bread example – maybe buy whole wheat next time and just have one slice instead of two or try a whole wheat sandwich thing. Buy lean meat (think anything with the word loin – sirloin, tenderloin … etc, or at least 90% learn if buying ground meat) and trim the fat once cooked. 
    • If you add vegetables to your plate, they have more fiber and bulk than other ingredients, so they keep you feeling full, longer. 
  • Boring food is your enemy (unless you like boring).
    • I do not like boring food. In fact, I used to have a bottle of hot sauce in my backpack because I could not handle the dry, flavorless food at my dining hall. I love flavor, spicy, sauce, color, texture. Many people equate healthy food with boring food, and that is simply untrue. You can make healthy food taste amazing. 
    • If you really enjoy dry chicken and vegetables, more power to you! Please ignore what I said above. 
  • Make a plan for meals
    • Meal prep what meals you can. Pack your own lunch instead of eating out. 
    • Never grocery shop hungry. 
    • Don’t skip breakfast – studies have shown that eating breakfast sets your metabolism up for success for the rest of the day. 
    • Decreased processed foods as much as possible! 

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