Our UConn Expanded Food and Education Program (EFNEP) educators are often answer questions from participants about weight loss. Heather Pease, one of our EFNEP educators, offers the following guidelines:
How do I lose weight?
The beginning of a new year turns our focus towards renewal and change. Many people will make a “new year’s resolution” such as losing weight.
Losing weight requires changing habits and behavior. Instead of losing –let’s put the focus on ADDING physical activity for stronger bodies and eating more nutrient dense foods that builds healthy bodies!
“Smart goals” or specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely intentions can help you make a plan for success. If you want to lose weight in the new decade- ask yourself:
- Track what you eat for a week – where can you make some changes?
- Eat less calories and move more-
- Add more:
- Fruits and Vegetables are low in calories, and high in nutrients
- Add more: moving!
- Try a free food tracking app to figure out the quality and quantity of food you are eating.
- It can also tell you how many calories are you eating? How many calories are you burning?
Measure: How will you measure your changes?
- Use measuring cups and timers to help you identify how much you are eating and moving
- Log your movement with your phone
- Try a free app like google fit or apple health to help measure movement.
Attainable: What steps will take to lose weight
Try using your phone to schedule 3 minute movements every hour at work- That’s 24 minutes of movement- try walking in place or go for a walk
Realistic: It takes time and intention to make change
- Try to do add on to something you already do that is a good habit- when you eat dinner use a smaller plate
- Try to set a small goal of exercising for 10 minutes; set a reminder schedule it at the same time every day and it will soon catch on
Timely: Most goals have a deadline- when do you hope to achieve your goal- remember weight loss is about sustainability and health
- With weight loss the TIME piece can be how much time it takes to lose weight (usually 1 -2 pounds a month and maintain your new habits.
- Use time to help you ease into new habits, walk 20 minutes after work every day in my house instead of eating. It is important to look at present habits and make small intentional changes J
- Focus on adding minutes and activities to increase your physical activity, stamina and strength
Article by Heather Pease