Find out how many calories you need.
(Body weight (lb) x 15) + (Moderate activity(minutes/day) x 3.5) = calories for weight maintenance. For a one- to two-pound weight loss per week, take the total calories and subtract 500.
Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. They fill up your stomach to help satiety and they are low in calories.
Watch portion size.
One serving of pasta means half a cup of cooked pasta. Most restaurants serve four to five servings of pasta with a meal. Try to share restaurant entrees with a friend or take home half your meal to keep your portions under control.
People who eat breakfast are more successful at weight loss.
Do not skip meals.
Eating small, frequent meals balances your blood sugar and your calorie intake throughout the day. Try eating five to six smaller meals each day.
Go for wholesome fresh foods.
If possible, purchase fresh foods instead of packaged and convenience foods that are generally high in sodium and fat. Fresh foods also make it easier to control portion sizes, eliminated extra waste and can help eliminate overeating.
Do not be overly restrictive.
Cutting out too many calories or your favorite foods can be counter-productive to weight loss. Make sure you are getting enough calories to fuel your daily activities and work outs and include your favorite foods in smaller quantities or in a version that is lower in fat or calories on occasion.
Understand food claims and labels.
Fat free products are not necessarily low in calories. Low carb or low sugar products are not necessarily low in fat or calories. Always read the nutrition label on the packaging to know what you are really eating.
Watch out for sugary drinks.
Juice, soda, cream and sugar in your coffee and alcohol all add up to extra calories. Enjoy these things in moderation while being aware of their calorie content. Also try drinking eight glasses of water a day for hydration and satiety.
Keep a food journal.
Writing down what you eat can help you pinpoint your eating patterns and help you modify these patterns. We sometimes do not realize how much we are consuming or what food triggers overeating until we see it on paper.
You need to exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day for health with at least two days each week doing weight-bearing exercise. Keeping active will help burn calories and help increase mood and energy. If you are strapped for time, try taking short walks. Getting 10 minutes of exercise several times a day is as good as 30 minutes all at once. Try keeping your exercise in your food log to reach your activity goals.
Look up calories online for commonly eaten foods.
There are now good databases of common restaurant and home meals at sites like www.calorieking.com. Become savvy about how many calories are in your favorite foods so you know how much you are eating. It is easy to adjust any food item to the calorie level you desire.