Elizabeth S. Reames | 6/24/2005 6:18:56 PM
Want to lose weight and keep it off? LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames says a combination of healthy eating and physical activity promotes successful long-term weight control.
The nutritionist’s claim is backed by the National Weight Control Registry that tracks adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained that loss for at least year. Reames recommends these steps to help you and your family move toward a healthy weight and fitness:
• Forget the fads. "Fad diets and miracle products are a waste of your time and money," Reames asserts, emphasizing, "There are no foods or pills that magically burn fat. There is nothing that will melt fat while you sleep. Some supplements and herbal products can be dangerous – and even deadly – for some people."
• Build a healthy base with the Food Guide Pyramid. Eating for a healthy weight is not difficult. Let the Food Pyramid be your guide to eating right. Eat more from the base (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) and less from the tip (fats, sweets and oils).
• Downsize your portion sizes. Learn how to judge portion sizes using the Food Guide Pyramid as a guide. The portions in fast food and sit-down restaurants can be enormous. Stay away from super-size, biggie-size and combo meals. Eat half of your restaurant meals – and take the rest home for an easy lunch or dinner tomorrow.
• Let your appetite be your guide. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Learn to tell the difference between hunger and other feelings, such as boredom, loneliness, fear, anxiety and pain. Don’t try to fix feelings with food.
• Snack smart and drink plenty of fluids. Snacks and drinks can fill your body with extra, empty calories. Make between-meal foods and beverages count with high-energy choices. Skip the cold drink and candy machines – and refuel and rehydrate with yogurt, string cheese, nuts, veggies, fruit, juice and water.
• Enjoy all foods, just don’t overdo it. Eat a variety of foods in moderation. Most people won’t stay on a restrictive diet that takes away favorite foods forever. Eating for a healthy weight means a realistic, flexible eating style – that allows you to enjoy a lifetime of delicious nutrition.
Reames says the LSU AgCenter Portions Healthy Weight Program provides current, research-based information and recommendations to help Louisiana citizens achieve and maintain a healthy weight by setting realistic goals for better health and learning to balance the food they eat with appropriate physical activity. For additional information about the Portions Program, contact the extension agent in your parish. Also, log on to the Family and Consumer Sciences section under the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service at the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com.