To Your Health

To Your Health By Pam Schaefer Weight Loss Tips

By now, you've probably made a New Year's resolution to lose weight or to eat better. You are not alone.

Two of the most popular New Year's resolutions are to get in shape and to lose weight. Losing weight and getting in shape may seem like a lot of work, but these easy steps will help keep you on course:

1. Set realistic goals. Smaller weight loss goals are often better than a large unrealistic goal. I understand the temptation to lose weight fast, but the fact is the most successful weight loss is one to two pounds per week.

2. Feel full on fewer calories. Fruits and vegetables fill you up and they are low in calories, fat-free and provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fit five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. This leaves less room for cookies, snack cakes and candy.

3. Get active. All exercise burns calories, so get moving. In fact, an extra 20 minutes of activity per day is all it takes to avoid weight gain. Do some form of activity every day, walk the dog, walk at the mall, take the stairs or do yoga. The key is to do something!!

4. Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast means more energy, better nutrition and reaching a healthy weight. Breakfast eaters eat fewer calories at lunch and dinner. Try these powerful breakfast ideas: a bowl of oatmeal, fruit and yogurt, a whole grain bagel and skim milk, or toast and peanut butter.

5. Dear Diary. Keep a food diary as part of your weight loss strategy. Journaling is one of the indicators of people who are successful in losing weight. Write down everything you eat and drink. This helps identify areas that need improvement. Maybe you munch late at night, drink too many regular sodas or overeat at lunch.

6. Don't miss meals. Going too long between meals inevitably means overeating. People who skip meals are more likely to overeat later in the day. Refuel every three hours.

7. Think about what you drink. Cutting back on soda can save you a lot of calories. Instead drink lots of water or switch from regular soda to diet soda. Water helps boost your metabolism and hydrates the body. Drink 10 8-ounce glasses per day.

8. Ditch miracle products. If something promises results that sound too good to be true, they probably are. Skip pills or products that claim you'll lose weight fast or without any effort. Leading an active life and eating right is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

Hy-Vee registered dietitians are available to the public to answer questions about smart eating. For more information, recipe ideas, or to contact your local dietitians, visit and click on health or call toll-free 866-865-4878.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for advice.

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