To achieve a healthy weight, and maintain it for the rest of your life, don’t think about losing weight fast. Do it slowly and steadily.
You won’t have to make intricate calculations about how many calories you should eat, then write down the value of every morsel you consume. And you won’t have to buy a diet book that calls for recipe ingredients you’ve never heard of.
Instead, reduce calories by making better food and drink choices.
Drinks: Rather than drinking a latte with 500 calories, have a cup of black coffee. Instead of drinking sugary soda pop, choose diet pop or water.
Planning: Plan your meals and snacks for a week. Make a shopping list that includes low-fat meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits and whole grain bread.
Snacks: If you want to snack on chips, nuts, crackers or candy, put the amount you intend to eat in a bowl. Stash the bag away so you won’t eat more without thinking about it.
Prepare foods wisely: Broil or bake your chicken, fish and red meats. Frying adds calories. Battering and deep frying can double the number of calories.
Skip the butter when you make mashed potatoes. You won’t notice it’s missing after you add low-fat gravy.
Salads: Use fat-free or low-fat salad dressing. Two tablespoons of blue cheese dressing have 150 calories. You might use three or four tablespoons, depending on the size of the salad.
When to eat: At three meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an evening snack. Studies show that people who eat breakfast will eat less the rest of the day. Include protein, like cheese or an egg, fruit, and whole grain bread. Drink a glass of water before each meal.
How much to eat: At home and at restaurants, eat a reasonable portion of food. Relax and take your time. If you eat fast, you’ll eat more.
You may not want to do all of these things, but doing some of them will result in weight loss.