Wellness: Simple tips to help lose weight

Published 8:15 am Monday, March 21, 2011

Whether trying to get into a new swimsuit, an old wardrobe, or back into shape, it seems people everywhere are trying to lose weight.

Some join gyms and adhere to workout plans, and others take to specialized diets and weight loss programs to shed the pounds.

For those who can’t afford any of those options, take heart — there’s still hope for you to trim that extra weight.

Simply altering what you eat and how much you eat can help you lose weight.

“Balancing intake [of calories] and output [of the calories through exercise] is the key,” said Valorie Conner, Regional Extension Agent of Human Diet, Nutrition, and Health.

Conner says the key to losing weight is “watch[ing] what you eat.” She believes that moderation and control of the portions one eats is a major factor in a person’s waist size.

Most people fail to realize exactly how much they are eating. A normal serving size is about 1/2 to 1/4 of a cup, which is significantly less than what is served in most restaurants and homes.

She also believes that diversifying the kinds of food a person eats is important too. Substituting junk foods with many different fruits and vegetables is a must. “Color is key; your plate should look like a rainbow.”

Instead of regular sodas that are loaded in calories and sugar, Conner suggests taking in water with every meal. “Go to water, or diet drinks. You quench thirst with water, not soda.”

And while she believes that changes in diet are key, being comfortable with the changes are important. All too often, people lose weight after cutting out things they enjoy, only to regain the weight.

Instead of getting rid of foods or drinks you enjoy completely, Conner stresses to “cut back, but don’t suffer. If you have to have soda, only have one a day. Don’t make changes you can’t keep.”