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Eating for Weight Loss
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Almost two-thirds of all Americans are overweight. And obesity (seriously overweight with more than 30% body fat) is becoming more and more widespread. The fact is, if you’re overweight or obese, you’re at a high risk for developing certain diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure and more. So if you’re overweight and want to get on track to prevent the onset of any of these conditions, or to simply improve your health and energy levels, talk to your healthcare provider about the proper weight loss diet. Even by losing ten pounds you can improve your health. The trick is doing it right—losing weight, keeping the weight off, and getting the right amount of nutrients. The first step in any weight loss diet is talking to your healthcare provider. Before you try a new approach to weight loss, your provider will be able to advise you about your health and weight loss potential.

The basic principle in losing weight is: burn more calories than you consume. Seems obvious, but it works. In order to really lose weight in the healthiest way, you’ll need to incorporate exercise into your day-to-day life. Your provider might set calorie goals with you, so you can visualize a short-term goal each day. As a woman, you might choose to eat 1,200 calories a day or a bit more (depending on how much you weigh and your activity level). By paying close attention to your calorie count, you can follow your progress toward the long-term goal of losing weight and getting into shape.

Weight loss is never all about calorie counting, though. You’ll really need to concentrate on your health in terms of what you eat. The first step is cutting out saturated fats and eating for a healthy heart with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. This includes cutting out fried food, butter, high-fat dairy products and fat-laden restaurant and fast-food meals. Substitute complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes and fruits and vegetables for the fat you eliminate from your diet. Make sure you get a variety in your diet.

For some people, eating for weight loss means changing their lifestyle. Becoming active after being sedentary can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. Paying attention to food choices after a lifetime of eating high-fat and unhealthy foods can seem overwhelming at first. By staying positive and moving gradually you can get on the right track to weight loss. Set realistic goals for yourself—don’t overreach. Even if you have a setback, remain focused and positive. Remember that your healthcare provider should be supportive and positive and willing to help you with your weight loss diet. If you don’t feel happy with your provider’s ability to guide you through this process, you might want to find another provider or a certified dietitian.

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