How to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight

The key to losing weight is to
eat a little bit less and exercise a little bit more than you do
now. Slow steady weight loss is the best. You will stay healthy
and have enough energy for daily activities when you lose about
one half to one pound in a week.

To lose one pound you need to
cut down on or burn up 3,500 calories. It is easier to cut out
500 calories each day for 7 days to total 3,500 calories, than it
is to cut out 3,500 calories in a few days. It might even be
better to cut out 300 calories and exercise to burn an extra 200

The Food Guide Pyramid is a good
place to see how you can cut calories. You need to know what you
are eating and how much you are eating now. Then you may be able
to cut down on the number of servings or the portions you eat.
The Pyramid shows the number of servings and calories according
to age and activity. You may not be as active as the person who
needs 2,200 or 2,400 calories. So, you might want to cut down on
the number of servings you eat in certain food groups. You may
also want to check your serving sizes. The extra calories from
bigger portion sizes can add up. Check the Food Guide Pyramid to
see what counts as a serving. Try measuring the foods you eat in
a day, then compare what you’ve eaten to the Pyramid guidelines.
Take a close look at the number and serving sizes of foods you
eat in the Fats, Oils and Sweets group. Do you spread a
tablespoon or a teaspoon of margarine on your toast? How much oil
or lard do you use when you cook? You can use less of these fats
and get fewer calories.

You can also cut calories by
having an extra serving of starchy foods instead of high calorie
fatty foods. Try having a serving of bread, pasta, rice, fruit or
vegetable instead of eating fatty foods like snack chips,
pastries, processed meats or some cheeses.

Losing weight and keeping it off
cannot be done by diet alone. Exercise is important, too. Thirty
minutes of physical activity 5-7 days a week will help you lose
weight. Walking, dancing, bicycling, swimming, and jogging are
all good forms of physical activity. You don’t have to give up
your favorite foods or join an expensive exercise program to stay
in shape. Enjoy a variety of foods and fun activities as your
goal for a healthy weight.

Adapted from: Food
& Nutrition News and Reviews
. University of
Massachusetts Extension.

To find out more about losing
weight, read the file “Set a Goal to Lose Weight.”

If you have questions about how
you can lose weight, go to “Ask the Nutritionist.”

To test what you know about
losing weight, take the Quiz on “How
to Lose Weight

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