One of the keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is portion control. A number of studies have shown that many people under estimate the number of calories they consume daily, primarily because they don’t understand how much is in “a portion.” Here is a practical way of estimating the size of a portion of some common foods.
Vegetables & fruit: about the size of your fist is one portion
Pasta or rice: about the size of one scoop of ice cream is one portion
Meat, fish, or poultry: about the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (without the fingers) is one protion
Cheese: about the size of a pair of dice or the size of your thumb from the tip to the base is one portion
Although dieting alone can help you lose weight, adding exercise into your daily schedule can speed up the process. The goal of exercise in a weight loss program is to help burn more calories. Exercise itself, apart from its role in weight loss, has many health benefits-even for people whose weight is in the healthy range. But before you start any exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure that the activity you are planning is appropriate in terms of your age, overall health, and state of physical fitness.
Diet Aids & Fad Diets
Most diet pills, liquid diets, and diet supplements are short-term solutions that won’t work without long-term changes in your eating habits and physical activity level. And many produce side effects, which can be especially dangerous for people with other health conditions, so you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before.
Fad diets can be another no-lose/no-win situation. Most are based on an eating plan that is not nutritionally balanced; some even eliminate an entire food group. This can cause health problems, and the weight lost is usually regained quickly once the diet regimen is stopped.
If you are obese, your doctor may consider putting you on a medically supervised weight loss plan. Losing even 5% to 10% of your body weight can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a prescription medication to help curb your appetite or to keep your body from absorbing all of the fat in the food you eat. However, these medications can have significant side effects, so they must be taken exactly as prescribed.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will help you feel great, look good, and help prevent many health conditions that are associated with being overweight. If you have any questions about weight management, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.