Q

Nutrition and Weight Loss

How should I eat if I want to lose weight?

A Answers (4)

  • A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Choose foods you enjoy when you are trying to lose weight. This is the most important thing you can do. Don't force yourself to eat foods you don't like just because they're good for you. Just make sure that the foods you choose aren't calorie- or fat-filled. Experiment with foods you haven't enjoyed in the past. I was amazed to change from a white rice lover to a brown rice fanatic! Some of the available soy products are delicious, and they make good replacements for the saturated fat proteins such as beef and chicken. Experiment with new, healthier alternatives.
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  • A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    Enjoy a wide variety of foods such as colorful vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein to meet your daily needs. Use the USDA's choosemyplate as a visual tool on eating healthy. Watch your portions and keep track of your food intake. Visit with a registered dietitian to get you started on a customized weight loss meal plan. Check out the eatright.org website for more helpful information.

    1 person found this helpful.
  • A answered
    Your healthcare professional should provide detailed guidance on the number and types of calories you should eat. As a rule of thumb, however, if you take in about 250 calories per day less than is needed to maintain your current weight, combined with an exercise regime that burns an additional 250 calories a day, you'll lose about a pound a week.

    The number of calories your body needs to maintain its basic functions such as breathing and digestion is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Several factors go into the calculation of your BMR, including your age, height, weight and gender.

    It's difficult to determine exactly how many calories you need to maintain your weight at your current level of physical activity. One way to estimate your BMR is to keep a detailed food diary over the course of a few days to a week during which you maintain your weight. Determine exactly how many calories you eat on an average day (several books and web sites provide calorie counts for thousands of foods) and use that figure as a starting place from which you then subtract 250 calories.

    After you've determined how many calories a day you should eat, you need to plan daily menus. A dietitian or nutritionist can help you plan menus that include the types and amounts of food you should eat, which, in most cases, should be based on guidelines developed by the federal government in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines emphasize calorie reduction as well as balance, moderation and variety in food choices, with an emphasis on whole-grain products, vegetables and fruits.

    To satisfy basic nutritional needs, eat a variety of foods including low-fat dairy, healthy protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs and soy products, vegetables and whole grains, and allow for an occasional treat. While you should try to cut back on excess fats and sugars, all foods and beverages can be consumed in moderation. As soon as you label a food as "off limits," chances are you will crave and perhaps even binge on it.
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  • A , Geriatric Medicine, answered
    Altering the quality as well as the quantity of food that you eat is important when you are trying to lose weight. Additionally, remember that you are eating to live, and not vice versa. Eat only when you are really hungry, and stop eating once your hunger is appeased -- not after you are completely stuffed and incapable of fitting one more morsel into a belly that is ready to burst! Although this seems intuitive, it is far more challenging than it sounds, because our brains are programmed to have us store as much food as possible when it is available. You will need to adjust psychologically, which often means mentally preparing yourself to take smaller portions and limit seconds.

    Rather than saying that you should not eat certain foods, focus on eating foods that are lower in effective calories and require more energy to digest, which means eating less fat and simple sugars. It doesn't mean that you can't occasionally have these foods. When you have a real craving for something that should generally be avoided, indulge, but do so sparingly.
    2 people found this helpful.
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.
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