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Tips on Weight-loss

Tips on Weight-Loss Programs

If you join a weight-loss program, pick one that encourages healthy weight-loss behaviors that you can continue. Safe and effective weight-loss programs should include:

  • Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not rule out specific foods or food groups
  • Instruction on physical activity and/or exercise
  • Tips on healthy behavior changes that also consider your cultural needs
  • Slow and steady weight loss of about 3/4 to 2 pounds per week and not more than 3 pounds per week (weight loss may be faster at the start of a program)
  • Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very-low-calorie diet
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it

Read the American Heart Association guidelines for choosing a weight-loss program.

Keeping It Off

Losing weight and keeping it off is not easy. Try these tips and see if they help you:

Set the Right Goals

This is a very important first step.

Many people focus on weight loss. Instead, keep your focus on the changes in what you eat and how you exercise that will help you lose weight.

Pick one or two goals at a time. Make them specific, attainable, and flexible. For example, "exercise more" is great, but it's not specific.

"Walk five miles every day" is specific, but probably not attainable if you're just starting.

"Walk 30 minutes every day" is more doable, but what happens if you're held up at work or the weather turns bad? " Walk 30 minutes, five days each week" is specific, attainable, and flexible.

Be Active

Physical activity builds muscles, so even if you don't lose pounds, you will look and feel better. Being active also reduces your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Activity & Exercise Tips

First, ask your doctor for advice.

Being more active doesn't mean a formal or complicated exercise program. The best activity is the kind you'll keep doing.

A physically active life has at least 1/2 hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity, such as brisk walking. To really lose weight, you may need to exercise 1 hour a day.

Aerobic exercise, such as swimming, walking, or jogging, raises your heart rate and helps burn calories. The longer you exercise, the more fat your body will burn. Walking can be very helpful even if you don't walk fast.

Light weight training also has many health benefits. It helps add muscle, which burns calories faster than fat does.

Healthy Diet for Weight Loss

  • Limit sugar-containing beverages
  • Eat whole grains instead of refined starches and sugars
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Include healthy unsaturated types of fat, rather than saturated and partially hydrogenated fats
  • Eat smaller portion sizes

For more information on how portion sizes have changed in servings of food, check the National Institutes of Health's "portion distortion" information.

Taking the Next Step

The Fort Collins community has many resources to get you started with exercise and activity, and change to healthier meals and snacks. If you live elsewhere, your own community may have similar programs.

There are a number of private health and fitness centers, and an adult exercise program at Colorado State University. Several weight-loss programs offer their services. There are registered dietitians in private practice.

Poudre Valley Hospital also has an outpatient nutrition program (970-495-8205) and a number of exercise classes sponsored by our Cardiac Rehabilitation program (970-297-6550).     

For more information on PVH's nutrition and exercise programs, click here.

This information provided by Susan Milligan, RN, of the PVH Community Health Education Department, from publicly available sources and PVH resources.


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