By Carolyn Muller
How have you pledged to better yourself in 2016? Are you making a New Year's resolution to lose weight by eating healthier or beginning an exercise program? Even a few extra pounds can lead to many health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. So setting our sites on eating healthier and losing some weight is a great place to start! However starting out with unrealistic goals can make the process seem unreachable and we often give up after only a couple weeks of trying.
The experts say that the way to achieve long term success is to start small. Making small, manageable changes over time will lead you toward your long term goal of weight loss! Here are ten tips for beginning a weight loss journey.
1. Take your time. Aim to lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week. It's safer to lose weight slowly.
2. Pay attention to portion sizes. Never eat out of the bag or box, or drink straight from the bottle. Always put food on a plate and pour your drink into a glass.
3. Stay away from sugary drinks. One less sugary drink a day can result in a 10 pound weight loss per year.
4. Prepare more meals at home. It is easier to control what you eat and home-cooked meals are usually more nutritious and less expensive.
5. Choose carefully when eating out. Watch out for large portions. Share a main course with a friend or take half home.
6. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
7. Feel full on fewer calories. Choose high-fiber foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole-grain cereals, breads and pasta.
8. Choose healthier snacks. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables instead of crackers, cookies or chips.
9. Do not skip breakfast. Skipping meals can make you hungrier and more likely to overeat.
10. Get moving. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, such as a brisk walk.
Changing our weight is not something we can do in a hurry. If we take small steps over time, we can make big changes. If you are looking for more resources on weight loss, LRGHealthcare offers a
wide variety of programs, classes and individual counseling to help you along the way. For more information on LRGHealthcare's Weight Institute of NH programs and services, or for Community
Education classes visit lrgh.org or call 527-7120.
Carolyn Muller is a Community Health Improvement Specialist at LRGHealthcare.
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