“Eat less by eating more; it’s the Holy Grail of dieting,” said registered dietitian Angela Shaw, D.T.R., coordinator of “The Healthy Weigh” weight management program offered at Cooper University Hospital locations throughout South Jersey.
Skipping meals or eliminating all protein, starch or fat from your diet can sabotage your weight-loss efforts by causing hunger and fatigue, she said.
“People end up going off these diets because they feel so hungry and tired when they’re on them. Our bodies need a steady supply of mixed fuels to avoid hunger and to keep our energy level up throughout the day,” Shaw said.
In addition to increasing exercise and decreasing calorie intake, Shaw offers these Do’s and Don’ts for successful dieting:
Don’t skip meals
Do eat three, balanced, portion-controlled meals a day
Don’t eliminate important foods from your diet
Do include “mixed fuels” – protein, carbohydrates and fat – at every meal
Don’t splurge on high-fat or surgery snacks
Do splurge on pre-cut veggies easily found at grocery markets, and keep them close at hand
Don’t forgo a healthful first course at lunch and dinner
Do start out with a salad and light dressing, because research shows that eating salad before a meal decreases by 12 percent the calories consumed in the meal that follows
Don’t eat meals from containers or wrappers while sitting on the couch watching television or working at your computer
Do put your meals on a plate and sit at a table; eat slowly, savor each mouthful, and walk away from the table when your plate is empty
“Remember, little changes can mean a lot when you’re dieting,” Shaw said. “To lose a pound a week, you have to cut 3,500 calories from your diet per week. If you’re one of those people who stops for a frappuccino coffee on the way into work every morning, that coffee – at 300 calories per cup, five days per week – is costing you 1,500 calories a week. If you just cut out that coffee, you could lose a little less than one-half pound a week,” Shaw said.
“The Healthy Weigh” is Cooper University Hospital’s individualized weight management program featuring a refreshing approach to successful weight reduction and nutritional well-being. Participants learn to identify the personal steps they need to take to achieve and maintain their optimal weight and good health. Information on foods to lower cholesterol and/or blood pressure and to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes also is provided.