The number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn each day control your body weight. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. The most successful way to do this is to become more physically active and moderately decrease the number of calories you eat. Most women, on average, need to consume about 1,200 to 1,400 calories daily, depending on factors such as age and activity level, to safely lose weight. Try to become physically active by walking or doing some other form of aerobic activity thirty minutes a day most days of the week.
Keep in mind that the type of calories you eat is also important. Those calories should come from the healthy foods that make up the Food Guide Pyramid, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, and legumes. Watching your portion sizes carefully within each food group will help you keep you within a moderate calorie level. Keep in mind that a gradual weight loss increases your chances of keeping the weight off. Losing weight on your own does not need to be a difficult task. Follow some of these other guidelines to lose weight the smart way:
- Eat no more than 30 percent of your total calories from fat (about 40 grams of fat on a 1,200 calorie diet).
- Include at least five servings of fruit and vegetables in your diet each day as well as whole grains. Fiber can help you feel fuller.
- Choose fat-free and lower-fat products over those containing more fat. But don't forget that fat-free does not mean calorie-free!
- Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time-thinking ahead can save you calories.
- If you bolt your food, slow down! Eating slower can help you eat less.
- Examine your eating habits by keeping a written journal of what and when you eat.
- Expect temptation and plan some alternative strategies ahead of time.
- Weigh yourself once a week. Weighing yourself more frequently can be discouraging because weight fluctuates daily with changes in fluid balance.
- Eat breakfast as well as at least four to six small meals per day to help curb binge eating later in the day.
I am overweight and trying to get pregnant. Is it okay to diet?
Strict dieting when planning to become pregnant is not recommended, especially if you leave out certain food groups, eat too few calories, or are on a ketone-promoting diet. Strict dieting can drastically affect the supply of nutrients that is vital for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Women who diet strictly in the years before becoming pregnant may be at higher risk for having low birth-weight babies. If you are concerned about your weight while trying to conceive, stick to a sensible eating plan along with regular exercise. A registered dietitian can help you to design a diet that is right for you.
Gaining Weight Sensibly
If you are under your healthy weight and need to add some pounds, you must do it in a healthy manner. Just because you need to gain weight doesn't mean you should eat whatever you want. You should still eat a healthy diet and just eat more of it. When choosing foods, choose healthy ones with concentrated calories. That way you don't need to increase the portion size as much. These foods can include peanut butter, dried fruits, avocados, nuts, and cheese. Try fortifying soups and casseroles with dry milk powder, or try supplements such as Carnation Instant Breakfast to add calories to your intake. Eat more frequently if your appetite is small and avoid drinking fluids close to mealtime so that you don't fill up too easily. A registered dietitian can help with weight gain as well as weight loss.
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