Healthy Weight Loss Tips
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body uses. Calories measure the amount of energy in food. If you take in more calories than you expend, your body will store the extra calories as fat.
Simply put, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat less and exercise more. Before starting any new fitness regimen, however, be sure to talk with a doctor who can help you find the optimal activities for you. Many experts discourage trying to lose more than two pounds per week; any more than that usually involves the loss of lean muscle mass and water instead of fat. The end result will be a diminished energy level, which will likely lead to gaining the weight right back. For lasting results, weight loss should occur gradually.
Here are some general tips on how to ensure your weight loss program is both effective and healthy:
- Don’t skip meals. While this approach may initially result in weight loss, over time, you will be left feeling overly hungry, and thus more likely to overeat at your next meal.
- Eat three regular meals, or five or six small meals, every day. During most meals, try to eat one to two cups of fruits and vegetables, two to three ounces of whole grains, and one to two ounces of protein.
- Avoid foods that contain saturated or trans fats, which are not only high in calories, but also can increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and heighten your risk of heart disease. Keep in mind that some fats, such as the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and low- or nonfat dairy products, can be beneficial to your overall health.
- Eliminate “empty” calories – high-calorie items with minimal nutritional benefits – from your diet. Common examples include sugar-sweetened drinks, such as fruit juices, regular soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk, and sweetened iced tea.
- Stay well hydrated. To reduce the calories and sugar in your diet and help you feel fuller longer, drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Of course, there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to weight loss. Fad diets may lead to short-term changes, but achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight requires a long-term commitment.
At South Tampa Immediate Care, our experienced medical staff is available to address any weight loss questions you may have. Our walk-in clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and weekends, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we do not require appointments.