While it’s partly true, there’s a lot more than that goes into lasting weight loss. You can overeat healthy foods and still have a weight problem. The best way to safely lose weight – especially if you have a medical condition or type 2 diabetes – is to work with medical weight-loss professionals.
That said, making healthy food choices is a vital component to maintaining a healthy weight and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs.
Consider these 10 tips from to make better food choices:
- Know your nutritional and caloric needs. The best person to help you understand how many calories you should eat in a day is a Registered Dietitian. Smartphone apps also make it easy to track your calories and physical activity.
- Control your portion size. Many people find that using a smaller plate at meals helps them eat less. Another trick is to take your time eating so that you enjoy the experience.
- Keep your bones strong. Fat-free and low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt and fortified soy milk all help strengthen your bones.
- Load up on fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to make half of your plate filled with fruits and vegetables. Choose red, orange and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
- Drink water, all day long. Water keeps you hydrated without the calories of sweet tea or cola. Keep a water bottle with you at work so you can sip throughout the day.
- Read the Nutritional Facts label. You’ll be surprised how much sodium is in cottage cheese or the amount of fat in a tablespoon of butter. Reading labels makes it easier to say no to unhealthy food choices.
- Eat whole grains. This is where it pays to read the nutritional facts label. When you have a slice of bread, choose whole grain varieties. Foods that have a high-fiber content will help you stay full.
- Limit solid fats and added sugars. Fatty meats like ribs, bacon and hot dogs should be occasional indulgences, not weekly habits. The same goes for cakes, cookies, candies and ice cream. Eat these treats sparingly.
- Start cooking. When you cook for yourself instead of eating out or getting take out, you save money and cut calories. It’s much easier to control what you’re eating, when you’re the one cooking the meal. Try out recipes that specifically aim to use less solid fat, salt and sugar.
- Keep track of what you eat every day. A food journal can show you when you’re most likely to make poor food choices.
Want to learn more about healthy food choices? Consult the Registered Dietitians at Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute. They can teach you how to read food labels, plan meals and make nutritious choices when eating out.