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January: "A New Year, A New You"


How many of us make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and actually keep it? Have you ever noticed how gyms are packed with people exercising during the beginning of the year, but somehow slowly dwindle away after a few months? If you make any new year’s resolution, choose to work toward a healthy weight in a reasonable, realistic way. Losing weight should not be achieved by fad diets* or unhealthy eating. The most lasting results are achieved through lifestyle changes, such as improving the way that you eat and choosing more nutritious foods. Here are some tips to help you lose weight and keep it off:

* Click here to view the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ timeline of fad diets throughout history.

Control your portions.

  • One of the major mistakes most American’s make is eating too much food. Losing weight is a simple equation. As long as you burn more calories than you are eating, then you should lose weight. To do this, eat smaller portions and try eating off of a smaller plate or bowl.
  • If fast food is a necessity, order a kid’s meal instead of a full-size meal.
  • When dining out, eat only half of your meal and take the other half home. Small changes like these will make a big difference.

Do not starve yourself.

  • Some people think that the less you eat the better. This is not necessarily true. The human body’s metabolism is like a fire. The more often you feed the fire, the more efficiently it will burn. Make sure you eat throughout the day, but in smaller amounts. This helps keep your metabolism running optimally. Try eating five small meals per day.
  • Do not skip meals! This could slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss.

Eat fruits and vegetables.

  • Not only are fruits and vegetables filled with natural vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also are low in calories and fat, which can help you lose weight. Make sure to fill up half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, have a small piece of fruit instead of candy or high-calorie dessert.

Limit the fat in your diet.

  • Fat has more calories than any other nutrient.
  • Avoid high fat foods such as cakes, pastries, desserts, cheese, fatty meats, high-fat dairy products, butter, margarine and fast food. Avoiding foods high in fat not only helps you lose weight, but also helps keep your heart healthy.
  • If you drink milk, choose 1% or nonfat milk.

Keep a food journal.

  • Studies have shown that if you write down what you eat, you are more likely to lose weight. Writing down what you eat helps you become more aware of what you eat and how much you eat.
  • If you do not like keeping a journal, there are many smartphone apps that can help you keep track of what you eat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers a “Choose My Plate Super Tracker.”

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

  • Sometimes your body can confuse being hungry with being thirsty. Avoid drinking sugary soft drinks and juice. Calorie-free beverages or water are best.

Be as active as you can.

  • Any physical activity that burns calories can help you lose weight.
  • Physical activity can include things, such as walking the dog or even gardening.
  • Moving more will help increase your metabolism and help burn calories.

Are You Overweight?

Find out where you stand with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Body Mass Index Calculator.