Have you seen those signs that say “lose ten pounds in ten days?” NOT!! There is no magic pill, formula or voodoo to take off those extra pounds. To lose weight, and keep the pounds off, you have to eat fewer calories than you need and exercise regularly. Dieting can be a very simple process. The Dieting ABC's, are a good way to make sure you are on a healthy diet: A) Aim for fitness, B) Build a healthy base, and C) Choose sensibly. Achieve a healthy weight by setting a realistic goal for yourself and include physical activity each day.

Using the food guide pyramid for your food choices is a good idea. Eating a variety of grains, especially whole grains, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables daily is important. When choosing your diet, make sure it is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, also moderate in total fat. Choose foods and beverages that will reduce your intake of sugars, and also try to use less salt when preparing your foods. Try to create a diet that is only 30% total calories from fat and only 10% total calories from saturated fat. Translated, this means skip the fast food, avoid empty calories, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Another key factor when trying to lose weight is to eat regular meals. Never skip a meal and try to eat smaller meals more frequently. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea. Fasting makes your metabolic rate go down and your brain does not have all the glucose it needs to function. Make sure you eat a variety of whole foods. Many people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Although juices are good for you they are calorie dense and do not fill you up as much as the whole fruit or vegetable. Also, remember to drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Water is essential for good health; it is a basic necessity for life. It is a myth, however, that water makes you full. Drinking water just to fill you up does not work.

If you are thinking about dieting, try to change your mindset and just think about eating healthy! There are plenty of dieting companies such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. With these plans you pay to eat their food, pay to lose the pounds, and pay to meet with an advisor. You can do it on your own. Just use the food guide pyramid to plan your food choices. Remember to check the proper serving size; many times portions are super sized. Get plenty of exercise daily because exercising burns calories, which will cause you to lose weight faster.

When choosing a diet make sure you follow some important nutritional guidelines:

  • Eating fruits and vegetables that are low in fat may reduce your risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
  • Eating fiber may reduce your risk of colon cancer and improve your blood cholesterol.

Remember that 30% to 40% of deaths due to cancer can be prevented if you choose a healthy diet and have regular physical activity
The increasing prevalence of obesity in America’s youth means that we are eating more calories and/or exercising less than we need to maintain healthy weight. Start a diet with a partner, such as a good friend. Partners can help each other keep track of food choices and make exercise fun.

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