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Weight Loss and Control (cont.)

Eating Less

Pay attention to serving sizes (portion control). Read food labels to find out how many calories and fat calories are in a serving. Keep a food diary or log to find ways to eliminate extra calories.

Eat fewer calories. By decreasing calorie intake by 500 per day, you will lose 1 pound a week. One way to eat fewer calories is to limit your fat intake. No more than 30% of your daily calorie intake should be fat calories.

  • Foods that contain large amounts of fat might surprise you. Many types of baked goods, such as crackers, cookies, cakes, pancakes, waffles, pastries, and special breads, have high fat levels. So do many prepared, convenience, and take-out foods.
  • Fat-free foods are not necessarily low-calorie foods. Fat-free versions of popular snacks often contain simple carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed and converted to body fat if consumed in excess.
  • Eat fat-free or low-fat dairy products such as cheese or frozen yogurt. Consider changing from whole milk to skim milk.
  • Substitute egg whites or a product such as Eggbeaters for whole eggs.
  • If you eat meat, eat it in moderation. Lean meats, skinless chicken and turkey, and seafood are good choices.
  • Avoid high-fat foods such as popcorn, potato chips, snack crackers and cakes, cookies, cakes, pizza, cold cuts and other fatty meats, pancakes, waffles, sour or sweet cream, cream cheese and other whole-fat cheeses, butters and oils, peanut butter, olives, oil-based sauces and salad dressings, nuts, special breads and pastries, and fried foods.
  • Replace high-fat foods with the same quantity of low-fat, low-calorie food.
  • Prepare foods with little or no oils, butter, or other fats.

Remember, however, that some fat is necessary for a healthy body and mind. Doing away with all fat is not desirable.

Low-fat foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes will help you feel full. This helps you lose weight or control your weight.

Avoid sugary foods such as candies, jellies and jams, honey, and syrups. These foods offer little nutritional value and tend to be converted to fat quickly.

Limit alcoholic beverages, which provide empty calories -- calories that have no other nutritional value. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink and men no more than two alcoholic drinks a day. An alcoholic drink is 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces (one standard bottle or can) of beer, or ½ ounce of distilled liquor.

Don't stop eating altogether. Fasting may result in rapid weight loss, but most of this weight will be water and possibly even muscle. Your body slows its metabolism, making it very difficult to maintain any weight loss.

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