Are you ready to make changes in your lifestyle and move toward a healthier weight? Healthy Weight Week, January 18-24, is a great time to begin. Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight contributes to your overall health and well-being. Losing even a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits. Here are some tips to get started.
Get plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Fiber can help you feel full longer and lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Know when you’ve had enough to eat. Quit before you feel full or stuffed. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your body is getting food. When your brain gets this message, you stop feeling hungry. So, fast eaters—slow down and give your brain a chance to get the word.
Watch portion sizes to manage your calorie intake. This is the key to an effective weight management plan. To make sure your portion sizes are “just right,” visit the MyPlate Food Groups Food Galleries at www.choosemyplate.gov/STEPS/howmuchshouldyoueat.html for healthy eating guidelines in household measures.
Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness—plus, it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Pick activities you like and do each for at least 10 minutes at a time. Aim for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes or more each week of moderate activity such as brisk walking. If you are currently inactive, check with your doctor concerning increased activity.
Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars. Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers. Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt. Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Select fruit for dessert. Eat sugary desserts less often.
These tips are brought to you by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
UC Cooperative Extension – Central Sierra and Amador Public Health