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What eating strategies can help me lose weight?

Robert DeVito
Fitness Specialist

Eating better for health and fat loss begins with focus. Try these tips for 30 days and feel the difference in your energy, vitality, strength, and focus. Incorporate them for life and watch who you can become!

There are no tricks, just consistent application of proven fundamentals. Stick to the basics, be consistent and become healthy and fit!

Food: (Energy in)

  • Increase water by drinking up to eight, 8oz. glasses of water a day.
  • Decrease saturated and trans fats by limiting processed, fried and fatty foods.
  • Increase fiber by choosing complex carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat four or five small meals three to four hours apart to increase your metabolism and help prevent hunger.
  • Moderate sodium intake to help prevent water retention and bloating.
  • Have a balanced post workout, recovery shake with protein and carbohydrates in it.
  • Balance meals by having protein, carbs, and healthy fats in every meal.
  • Eat, don't drink, your calories. Eliminate regular soda and excess juice to help reduce caloric intake.
  • Eat slowly to help prevent overeating.
Kelly Currier
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

In order to lose weight, it is important that you are burning more calories than you are consuming each day. Think of your calories as a bank account. If you make even small deposits in the bank and never withdrawal any calories, you will gain weight over time. The idea is to have a slightly negative balance (up to 500 calories) each day. This does not necessarily mean that you need to cut 500 calories from your diet. You could also burn an extra 500 calories through exercise or a little bit of both.

Some eating strategies that may help you to lose weight are the following:

  • Eat breakfast. When cutting calories you do not want to cut out entire meals. Breakfast is a very important meal to rev your metabolism which will cause you to burn more calories throughout the day.
  • Drink plenty of water. Sometimes you feel hungry and really you are just dehydrated.
  • Consume high fiber foods such as whole grains and fruits/vegetables. Fiber contributes no calories but does add bulk to your food leading to earlier satiety. You will stay full longer on the same amount of calories.
  • Use a smaller plate. Plate sizes have grown 25 percent since the 1970s to over 12 inches in diameter. Use a smaller plate (10 inches or less) and you will serve yourself 22 percent less calories. This could add up to a 2 lb weight loss per month.
  • Eat lower calorie foods first. Fill up on salad or vegetables or fruit at the beginning of your meal. This will cause you to eat less of the higher calorie side dishes.
  • Eat 5-6 smaller meals per day. This will help you to maintain a higher metabolism. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours.

Just start by eating breakfast! Too many people skip breakfast and then spend the rest of the day overeating. People who eat breakfast have more active metabolisms and just the simple act of eating breakfast will help you have more energy and be more productive, especially your workouts.  An awesome pre-workout breakfast for me includes two pieces of whole wheat toast, one tablespoon of peanut, and an omelet of 5 egg whites with one whole egg. Always remember to include protein at breakfast to help keep your carb cravings under control.

Then consider eliminating store bought foods that you can prep yourself. You will be shocked how good they taste when prepared fresh at home. For example, you can prepare the following items yourself and eliminate the extra calories, fat, and sodium: salsa, soups, salad dressing and marinades, hummus, mayo, muffins and breads, and finally healthy versions of treats like cookies.

Also drink plenty of water and try not to drink your calories unless it is from skim milk. Studies have shown that skim milk helps us to lose weight so don’t forget to drink an 8oz serving once or twice per day.  Be mindful of drinks like soda, teas and those coffee chain drinks that are sugar laden and full of empty calories.  Even be careful of the sports drinks; always measure out a serving so you don’t get too much sugar or sodium. You can’t go wrong keeping yourself properly hydrated during the day; it will help curb those hunger cravings. I usually drink water with lemon or fresh-brewed iced green tea.

Finally, as Dr. Oz suggests, follow the “Rule of Three” that consist of eating small meals every three hours that have the three major nutrients.  Each meal should contain, 1 serving each of protein, carbs, and healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, flax seed oil) and should be accompanied by plenty of veggies. The sky is the limit for your healthy choices of food but make sure you have sensible, small portions and stay within you caloric requirements. Good Luck!

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you feel like you're making all the right decisions when it comes to your diet, but you have yet to see any results, you may want to rethink your strategy. This is where the Rule of Three comes into play. Eat small meals every 3 hours, and focus on consuming 3 nutrients, including 1 serving of protein, 1 serving of carbohydrates and 1 serving of healthy fat, as well as unlimited vegetables. The beauty of the Rule of Three is that you get to choose—it's not about one heaping portion of the same dish. Instead, it's all about variety.

Recharging small meal ideas:

  • Pureed broccoli soup (go for the pure vegetable variety and avoid cream-based soups)
  • Teff bread (made of an Ethiopian ancient grain) topped with sprouted almond butter, which provides both healthy fats and protein
  • A serving of adzuki beans, high in fiber and excellent for the digestive system
  • For some fat, try a few slices of avocado or cheese
  • A glass of beet juice is an antioxidant-rich source of carbohydrates

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness Specialist

I recommend the following 3 simple strategies to lose weight:

  • Eat breakfast.....try to stay under 500 calories (dont skip)
  • Replace one meal/day with a meal replacement (calorie/portion control)
  • Drink 16 0z of water before every meal (research shows you consume 100/cal less)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.