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Weight Loss Tips

If you need to lose just a few pounds or a lot these tips can help.

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Updated June 16, 2014

Senior woman tending courgette (zucchini) plant on allotment in late afternoon
Lilly Roadstones/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Obesity is one of the top health problems facing Americans; half of us are overweight and a third are obese. This contributes to more than 300,000 deaths every year. According to the center for health Statistics obesity is on the rise, this in spite of the fact that tens of millions of Americans are dieting at any given time. A report from the Institute of Medicine states that we are spending more than $33 million each year on weight reduction products such as diet foods and drinks.

Fat Facts

  • The Institute of Medicine identifies obesity as having greater than 25 percent body fat for men and more than 30 percent for women.
  • Unhealthy weight or obesity can increase the risk of many deadly diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease
  • The American Dietetic Association research has shown that a five to ten percent decrease in body weight can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels significantly.
  • Successful weight loss is more often accomplished by utilizing the support a host of health care providers including physicians, dieticians and even therapists.

Successful weight loss is dependent on more than just dieting. It involves a lifestyle change and includes finding a program to suit your lifestyle, proper nutrients and exercise and the ability to live with the changes once you have lost the desired weight.

According to Netty Levine, MS, RD a registered dietician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center the key to successful long-term weight loss management is in focusing less on "dieting" and more on healthy eating and regular exercise. "Most of the popular diets and diet books are for quick results, are not healthy and con do major damage to your body," she says. "If losing weight to fit into a bathing suit is your only goal, your endeavors will most likely disappoint you. The goal should always be to make health, not appearance a priority resulting in a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime."

Lifestyle Tips For Successful Weight Management

  1. Always plan before you shop and keep a list of foods on your palm pilot or refrigerator.
  2. Skip high calorie beverages such as sodas, juices, smoothies and blended coffee drinks. There are approximately nine packages of sugar and close to 150 calories in one 12-oz can of soda or juice. Smoothies and coffee drinks are often 250 -500 calories, excluding the whipped cream.
  3. Fill up on fiber such as fruits and vegetables.
  4. When using salad dressing, dilute with plain vinegar or lemon juice and always order dressing on the side.
  5. Avoid alcohol. One glass of wine is about 100 calories. In addition, wine can lower your blood sugar and make you hungry.
  6. Fill half your plate with steamed or raw vegetables and the other half with equal parts of protein and starch that is not loaded with fat. Remember to have fruit for dessert.
  7. when you're eating at a buffet, you don't have to eat everything, there will always be another buffet. Line your plate with lettuce or spinach without dressing. In terms of salad dressing, again dilute dressing with vinegar or lemon juice.
  8. Walk one mile; it will burn 100 calories.
  9. Take advantage of the long summer days by walking, running, cycling, swimming and other outdoor activities.
  10. Do some gardening; it's a great form of exercise and it allows you to grow fresh vegetables.
  11. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  12. Play actively with your grandchildren or pets.
  13. Establish flexible, short-term, attainable goals.
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