What are some simple rules for losing weight?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Losing weight successfully isn't about dieting. It’s about eating smart and making the lifestyle changes necessary to burn more calories than you take in. Eating 6 times a day to rev up your metabolism while getting in 10,000 steps a day was a part of my plan. Avoiding the five felons of refined sugars, enriched flours and saturated and trans fats is another part of letting your body get the necessary nutrients it needs to lose weight. Starvation is not the way to successfully lose weight. Eat your way to success by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Simple changes in your diet may help you lose some weight. You can start off by replacing one food item per week that is considered bad/junk food or food with little or no nutritional value. Example, replacing your morning donut and coffee for something healthier such as 2 pieces of wheat bread and eggs, or by replacing your fast foods with healthier home cooked meals. One good suggestion is to drink a glass of water before your meal, this will give you a feeling of being full and can avoid over eating.

As you get older, your body changes as well as your metabolism. The key to weight loss is behavior modification as your body changes. Very often we ignore the signs of changes in metabolism until we gain significant pounds. For example bloating, changes in bowel habits, increase or decrease in hunger, are possible signs of changes in metabolism. Jump starting your metabolism in 30's, 40's 50's etc. will require behavior modification as well as caloric intake control. Most important rule KEEP MOVING to keep your metabolism pumped up!  

Kat Barefield, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Think long-term. Diets don’t work for most people because they’re a short-term fix. Make changes to your eating and activity habits that you can live with for the rest of your life, so you not only lose the weight; you keep it off for good.
  • Eat fewer calories, but more food by replacing some refined grains (white rice and pasta) or fatty foods with a fruit, veggie and/or salad with light dressing at each meal. This will help you feel satisfied on fewer calories.
  • Switch higher calorie items for lower ones any time you can. This means paying attention to the choices you’re making.
  • Eat regular meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. This helps prevent becoming overly hungry, making poor choices and overeating.
  • Eat balanced meals. Fill your plate with mostly greens, veggies and fruit, have a lean protein like seafood, skinless chicken or beans the size of your palm, (minus your fingers) and have a whole grain like brown rice or whole wheat pasta about ½ the size of your fist. A variety of foods gives your body the different nutrients needed for optimal health.
  • Keep a food log. People who track what they eat at least 5 days a week lose more weight than those who don’t. You’re forced to pay attention to what AND how much you’re eating when you track it. The Sharecare Fitness App under your Coach tab has a free program with a food log.
  • Move anytime you can. You don’t need a gym membership to be more active and burn more calories. Every movement you make burns extra calories so build activity into your normal routine. Take short walks throughout the day, pace while you talk on the phone and plan active time with your family.
  • Monitor your progress. Weigh yourself weekly or measure your waist, hips, thighs, etc. to track the inches you lose. Your clothing size is also a good progress indicator.
  • To break a plateau eat 200-300 fewer calories and move more throughout the day. The key to continuous weight loss is taking in fewer calories than you expend.

The body is a science and there are no hidden secretes to losing weight. It’s a simple as calories in vs. calories burned thru activity. Follow these simple rules to start losing weight:

You are what you eat:  Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, whole wheat breads and pastas, legumes, lean protein and low fat dairy products. 

Be active:  Daily physical activity is critical for weight loss and burning calories.  Participate in activities you enjoy. 

Consistency: Be deliberate and consistent when starting a weight loss program. Regular physical activity and good food choices will become habits that turn into a healthy lifestyle.


Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

No one pretends that achieving and maintaining an ideal weight is an easy thing to do, but the list of rules to get you there is nonetheless simple: Eat in moderation; choose foods that look like they did when they came out of the ground (remember, there are no marshmallow trees); be an omnivore (there are multiple food groups for a reason); and get some exercise.

Picture of weight scale

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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.