Should you weigh yourself often?
People who succeed at losing weight and keeping it off weigh themselves often, research shows. A step on the scale at least once a week seems to build awareness best.
Don't stress if the number on the scale goes up and down: Weight can change by several pounds over the course of a few days as water weight shifts.
Which fats should you cut back on to lose weight?
Not eating one type of food doesn't translate to cutting overall calories. Besides, fat can help you feel full after eating, which may curb your desire for seconds or dessert. Your body needs some dietary fat to function.
Less than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats, say government dietary guidelines. Replace butter and processed foods with more healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, cold water fish, tofu, avocado, and small amounts of nuts. Although lowering saturated fat isn't magical for weight loss, it is beneficial for overall health.
To help lose weight faster, you should drink water before meals.
Drinking water, especially before mealtime, helps fill you up and makes you eat less. One study found that adults who drank two cups of water before each meal lost more weight than those who didn't.
Water also helps you stay hydrated. When your kidneys are moving water through your body, your water weight is lower.
If you eat too much lunch, should you skip dinner?
Don't skip meals if you're trying to lose weight. You'll feel hungrier later and be more apt to raid the fridge or nibble on junk -- running your day's calorie total potentially higher than from a meal. Missing a meal can also leave you less energized, making it less likely that you'll exercise, an important thing if you're trying to lose weight. Having small, nutritious meals and snacks between meals has been shown to help people lose more.
Breakfast is the key don't-skip meal. Regular breakfast eaters are leaner than those who start the day on an empty stomach.
After eating, how long should it take before you feel full?
Eat slowly if you want to lose weight because there's a lag between when your mouth says "mmm!" and your brain registers fullness in your stomach. If you put your fork down between bites and pace yourself, you'll give your brain more time to tell your stomach that you're full.
In one study, women who were urged to eat slowly ate fewer calories and drank more water than when they were urged to eat as quickly as they could.
To lose weight, you should plan every meal.
Spontaneity is great for some activities, but eating isn't one of them. Weight loss experts recommend planning your meals and snacks to make sure they fit into a well-balanced diet plan.
Without a good plan, you're more vulnerable to the siren call of the nearest vending machine or bakery.
Why should you keep a food diary?
Keeping a diary of what you eat can double your weight loss, one of the largest and longest-running studies of weight loss maintenance found. Food journaling makes you aware of how much you're really gobbling and lets you see -- and fix -- bad patterns.
And a written record makes you more accountable, so you think twice before you scarf down food.
Which carbs should you avoid to lose weight?
Despite the popularity of low carbohydrate diets, your body needs this important fuel to work.
It's healthiest to ditch carbs from sugar sweetened beverages like sodas, junk food and animal fats, while still eating some carbs from whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
You can have all the ____________ you want and still lose weight.
Eat your veggies freely without fear of packing on pounds -- they're comparatively low in calories, packed with fiber and nutrition, and help you feel full so you eat less overall.
Easy on the fixings, though: Frying, sautéing, or adding most sauces, dips, and toppings amps up calories.
Images provided by:
AARP: "Weight Loss Myths."
American Heart Association: "5 Goals to Losing Weight."
Andrade, A. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2008.
Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Should You Weigh Every Day?"
Butryn, M. Obesity, 2007.
Carter, P. Dietary Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of Fruit and Vegetable Intake," 2012
CDC: "Can Eating Fruits and Vegetables Help People to Manage Their Weight?"
CDC: "Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight."
CDC: "Losing Weight."
Fung, T.T. Annals of Internal Medicine, Sept. 7, 2010.
Harvard School of Public Health: "How to Avoid Overeating."
Harvard School of Public Health: "How to Get to Your Healthy Weight."
Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source: “Protein Moving Closer to Center Stage.”
Hollis, J. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2008.
MIT Sports Medicine: "Weight Management Strategies: Weight Loss."
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Weight Loss and Nutrition Myths."
National Institutes of Health: "The Practical Guide Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults."
National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Aim For a Healthy Weight."
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Tips to Weight Loss Success."
National Sleep Foundation
Nedeltcheva, A.V. Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct.5, 2010.
News release, Kaiser Permanente.
News release, University of Chicago Medical Center.
News release, University of Michigan.
Parretti, HM Obesity, August 2015.
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: "Exercise and Weight Control."
Raynor, H. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2012.
Sivak, M. Obesity Reviews, August 2006.
University of Maryland Medical Center: "Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss."
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010."
This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information:
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the eMedicineHealth Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
© 1996-2019 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.