A Healthy Weight in 2018

NOCHS Bariatric Clinic’s Registered Dietitian, Sarah Portenga gives you five easy tips to help keep your weight loss resolutions.

Is reaching a healthy weight one of your goals for 2018? Don’t fall victim to the latest diet trend or severely limit your food intake for several weeks or months in order to achieve it. Long-term weight loss requires long-term effort. There is no one perfect eating pattern. The key to losing weight and being healthy is to find a balanced plan and to stick with it long term. Consider these five tips as you strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight in 2018:

1) Create a balanced plate. Very simply, fill one side of your plate with vegetables and fruit. Then divide the other half in half; one quarter for protein such as lean meat, beans, or eggs and the remaining quarter for starches such as a small dinner roll or a half cup of pasta or rice. Applying this visual reminder to your plate will help keep your portions in check and keep your diet balanced.

2) Track your food intake. Consider using a free online tool or app, such as MyFitnessPal, to track your daily food intake. The app will calculate a daily calorie recommendation for weight loss based on your height, weight, age and activity level. Tracking your food intake can show you where you may need to make some changes and keep you accountable for the food choices you make. If an online food tracker seems too complicated, simply record everything you eat throughout the day on a piece of paper.

3) Set specific goals. Set small, attainable goals that you can work on throughout the year instead of one big overwhelming goal. And be specific. Don’t say you’re “going to start going to the gym” in 2018—set a clear ambition, like attending a weekly spin class or lifting weights every Tuesday or Thursday.

4) Reward yourself. One way to help you stay motivated is to regularly reward yourself once you achieve a goal. Choose non-food rewards as much as possible. Consider rewarding yourself with a manicure or things that will help you stay active, such as new workout shoes or clothes.

5) Create a support network. It helps to have family, friends, and co-workers who will support you in your new lifestyle habits. At work, go on short power walks with colleagues and talk to co-workers about making healthier choices at the cafeteria or vending machine. Let as many people as possible know what your goals are and, hopefully, they will not only support you, but join you!

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