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Making A Plan For Successful Weight Loss

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In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted the need for updating and improving their Dietary Guidelines for Americans.1 The publication and website also took note of the growing problem of obesity and overweight issues America. Statistics indicate that about two-thirds of American adults and greater than one-third of all American children fall into either of these categories. With the figures tending to increase rather than decrease, it is time that individuals and families make a plan for weight loss and control.

Guidelines for Working Out a Healthy Weight Loss Plan

When you decide to put together a plan to defeat obesity and weigh issues, you need to take into consideration an array of different factors. It is not simply a matter of cutting down on food intake. It is also not just a matter of reducing calories. To lose weight properly and to keep it off effectively requires a co-ordinated effort worthy of any battle campaign. It must take into account physical, emotional and psychological factors. To prepare a weight loss plan, requires more than the creation of diet meals. It requires you look at:

  • The nutritional needs of you and your family
  • The amount of calories each member will need to lose
  • The need to include activity into the equation. To lose and keep off weight requires a form of physical exertion. This could be daily walking or other kinds of exercise.
  • Support – those who succeed in following through with a weight loss plan and maintaining it frequently do so because they have the support of friends, family and/or an organization/diet group or membership

Once you have considered and addressed these factors, you can then turn to formulating such basics as a healthy meal plan.

Guidelines for Developing a Healthy Meal Plan

The basics for developing a healthy meal plan are easily found on line. They exist on both the MyPlate and Dietary Guidelines for Americans website.2 In essence the focus is on starting off with a good understanding of what is good for you and your family. This involves understanding about the various facets of good nutrition as well as knowing how to eat and when.

You are encouraged to prepare meals that you can enjoy but:

  • Reduce portion sizes: Cut back on the amount of fat, sodium, salt and sugar. Americans currently consume too many solid fats and refined sugar (SoFAS) added to their meals unnecessarily. In fact, these comprise approximately 35% of the average American diet.3
  • Fill half of your plate with vegetables and/or fruit
  • Select your food in terms of not simply caloric intake but in accordance to the quality and amount of other ingredients

Do read the labels and understand what they say. Be sure, the amount of sugar in your foods is sufficient to meet the levels you need, but do not consume too much. Too much sugar combined with increased weight leads to incidences of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is always one very important rule regarding nutrition. This concerns breakfast. Do not leave home without it.

Why is Breakfast So Important?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is true whether you are a child, an adolescent or an adult. The reasons are simple:

1. A lack of a good breakfast may result in a variety of physical problems. These can range from poor attention span to headaches to weakness. These symptoms are indicative of a low glycemic count. Your blood sugar is usually low after a night’s rest.

2. Breakfast is the ideal opportunity for you to get the right mix of calories and nutrients in your diet. You need the food to fuel your brain and to provide the energy you require to exercise, work and play.4

3.  Failure to eat a good breakfast frequently results in a mid-morning craving. This often leads to grabbing a quick snack. With your body wanting to raise its sugar levels, the snack could easily be a donut or something high in unhealthy levels of processed sweetness. Such snacks are also high in saturated fats and contain far less nutrients than you need.5

Yet, this does not mean all breakfasts are created equal. Research on the positive effects of breakfast also indicates there are good and poor breakfast choices to make.6

A good breakfast consists of:

  • Whole grain foods – make sure the bread or grain product contains whole grains
  • Fruit
  • Dairy – low fat or fat-free. This can be milk, yogurt or even cheese

The Conclusion?

Making a plan for weight loss can seem complicated. It does require you understand the particular issues concerning your own or the members of your family’s weight gain issues. You need to examine what you have done in the past regarding meal planning and menu preparation. You also have to see where changes make healthy meals possible. Exercise should fit into the equation or the weight loss plan will probably fail.

Doing all this does not mean you will not be able to enjoy eating. It just means you have to shift your body’s preferences away from certain non-nutritious and unhealthy foods. You will need to reduce the portions of your food and replace fats and sugars with healthy substitutes. Cut back on calories but do not create unbalanced meals. Eating is all about balance. When creating a plan for weight loss, you need to remind yourself that you are what you eat and eating too much and too much of the wrong food results in an imbalance and is not healthy.

References

1 USDA (2011) Dietary Guidelines. Retrieved from www.choosemyplate.gov/guidelines/index.html

2 USDA (2011). Choose MyPlate. Retrieved from www.choosemyplate.gov/

3 Mayo Clinic Staff (2010). New Dietary Guidelines: How to Make Smart Choices. Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.com/health/dietary-guidelines/MY01594.  (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011)

4 Deskmukh-Taskar, P. R.; Nicklas, T. A.; O’Neill, C. E.; Keast, D. R.; Radcliffe, J. D. and Cho, S. (2010). The Relationship of Breakfast Skipping and Type of Breakfast Consumption with Nutrient Intake and Weight Status in Children and Adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 110 (6): 869-878.

5 Fishback, Alexa L. (2008). Women’s Health. The Daily Fix. Rodale Press.

6 Kant, A. K.; Andon, M. B.; Angelopoulos, T. J. and Rippe, J. M. (2008). Association of Breakfast Energy Density with Diet Quality and Body Mass Index in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999–2004. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 88 (5), 1396-1404.

DISCLAIMER

The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Our content is not medical advice and you should seek a licensed physician or health professional regarding all health issues. WEIGHTLOSS.US takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, or application of medication which results from reading this site.