Whether to control a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or hypertension, to help recover from a heart attack or to reduce the acid reflux that plagues you, there are numerous health situations and diseases that can be controlled with a modest weight loss.

Losing weight well

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Although there are many reasons that people work on weight loss, some who embark on a program have the feeling that they will be unsuccessful. Whether to control a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or hypertension, to help recover from a heart attack or to reduce the acid reflux that plagues you, there are numerous health situations and diseases that can be controlled with a modest weight loss. And yes, people do lose weight and keep off those pounds for the rest of their lives. Here is more from people who successfully lose weight.

Weight loss, and then weight maintenance, tips:

  1. Keep the prize in mind – know that ultimately you want better health, and so slow and steady weight loss will get you there.
  2. It’s ok to get off track with food choices…. but then get back on track as soon as possible.
  3. Think life time. The changes that you make toward healthier eating should last for a very long time.

What does not work for long term weight loss and maintenance?

  1. Skipping meals – you may be able to do this for a while but ultimately it is not a good life time choice. It can cause big nutritional gaps and then overeating later in the day.
  2. Strict dieting – following a popular fad diet will usually mean cutting out big food groups, and will probably only last a few days or weeks. Ultimately weight will come back, and you’ll be right back where you started from, and maybe even heavier.

What works for those who lose weight and then keep it off forever?

  1. Three modest-size meals spread out evenly through the day.
  2. Lunch either prepped and eaten at home, or packed if going to work. It puts you in the driver’s seat for a healthier meal.
  3. Dinner should be four to five hours from bedtime. It provides time for digestion to complete and for the calories to be put to efficient use before you go to sleep. So much better for digestion also, reducing acid reflux.

There are so many weight loss programs available to you for purchase. Evaluate them to suit your needs for weight loss but also more importantly for lifetime maintenance. Be wary of big weight loss promises, diets that cut out entire food groups or require that you take certain supplements or drink alkaline water. There are many gimmicks that are waiting for your money to be spent.

Weight loss is hard work because it involves changing one of the hardest habits to change – what you eat. Your food choices may stem from childhood. But researchers track successful weight losers. The bottom line is to make reasonable changes with meals made at home, engage in daily exercise, drink lots of water, and they have support from family and friends.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.