Healthy Weight 


Your physician or healthcare provider is the best person to help you determine if you need to lose weight and help you set a weight goal.  They may place you on a special diet which best meets your individual needs.  Once it has been determined that controlling your weight or losing weight is a good idea for you, here are some tips that might help.   Please ask your healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.

  1. Cut in half whatever you usually eat, eat half, and save half for later.  You're not giving it up, because you can have it later.  If you're at a restaurant, ask the waitress to box up the half you don't eat and take it with you.  Even cutting just a third or a fourth off will help.  Or share what you eat with someone else (a dessert with two spoons).  The idea is to eat the same things you are used to, just less of them.  This is hard for the first week or two, but then it gets easier.  To print out a Cut It In Half sticker click here.  Cutting down by just a little bit more each day may work better for you.  It's like a new habit.  You don't even miss the extra food.  Once you reach the weight you want to be, you can then adjust the size of the servings you eat, so that you stay where you want your weight to be.  And remember... typical serving sizes are set by people who want to sell food. 
  2. Even cutting down a little bit can help.  For instance, if you drink just one less 16 oz. Coke a day, and do everything else the same, you will lose 25 pounds in a year.
  3. Don't cut the amount of milk you drink in half, because milk contains calcium and protein, which are needed for strong bones and growth.  Instead just change from 2% to 1% milk, or even fat free milk. Add 1% milk to fat free milk to get used to it gradually. Then you don't miss the 1%.
  4. If you have a craving, ask yourself two questions:  a) Does your body really need it?  If the answer is no, then ask the second question... b) Is it worth the price?  Extra food costs you a price. The good taste lasts just a few minutes.  But then you gain more weight, and you pay the price for a long time with your self-esteem and your health.  
  5. Remember: there is a difference between hunger and craving.  Hunger is what you feel when your body needs food for nutrition (stomach growling).  Craving is what you feel when your want food for pleasure or to make you feel happier.  It's okay to be hungry sometimes. 
  6. Try to trick your cravings.  Distract yourself with some other interesting thing, like a fun hobby.  It also helps to squeeze your hands together real tight until the craving passes. 
  7. Drink lots of ice water, like maybe with ice cubes and lemon juice. This gives you something to do when you crave, and water fills you up.  It's also healthy. Apples are another neat thing to nibble on, since they're sweet, and they're good for you too.
  8. Eat to take in something that your body needs for growth and fuel rather than just for pleasure, or because you are unhappy or nervous.  Realize that you eat when you are bored or unhappy.  Don't feed a sad heart.  It just makes you sadder.
  9. Try to figure out what else gives you pleasure and substitute it for food (like dancing, hobbies, pets, sports... or computers - if you are not good at sports)
  10. Just say no!  Over-eating is just a habit; habits can be broken.  It's hard at first, but then it gets easier.
  11. An ounce of food fat (like butter or ice cream) causes you to gain more than twice as much weight as an ounce of carbohydrate (like rice) or protein (like lean meat).  And eating less fat will not only help you to lose weight but it will also keep your arteries from getting clogged, and keep you from getting diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.  So you will live for a longer time.  But even more important, you will enjoy your life for a longer time, because diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure can make you feel sick all the time. 
  12. Do active stuff that is fun to you, like roller blading, riding a bike, or dancing... whatever you enjoy.  Active stuff gets rid of nervous energy, distracts you from overeating, and makes you feel happier too.  Try to do whatever you enjoy with other people, since it's even more fun that way, and people help your self- esteem. 
  13. It is pretty hard to lose weight just by exercising. For example, you need to run 12 miles, or walk 50 miles, to lose just one pound of fat.  You have to cut down on what you eat. 
  14. Lets face it... food comforts you.  It can soothe the pains of life.  That's the reason a lot (maybe most) of people overeat.  The trick is to find foods that comfort you, but won't also make you get fatter, so that you need even more comfort foods and gain even more weight.  Foods like sugar-free candy and low-fat meals and deserts can make a big difference in weight control, while still offering a lot of comfort.  Try to find them in your food store.  And good things like fruits can be comforting too. 
  15. Temptation  control:  If you are one of those people who can't eat half of something, or you don't have the will power to resist fattening food in front of you, then get the temptations out of your house.  Ask your parents not to buy junk food for snacks, but rather to buy fruits and veggies.  You will miss the junk food to start with, but pretty soon you won't miss it nearly as much.  Another trick is to put all the candy in the highest cabinet of your kitchen, so it's hard to get to.  And instead of going to MacDonald's, which can overwhelm you with temptations, maybe try Subway?
  16. Some kids require less food to run their bodies than others.  This was an advantage two hundred years ago when farming was hard and food took a lot of time to prepare.  But today when prepared food is easy to get, it is also very easy to eat more than your body needs.  So... unless what you take in is equal to or less than what you use up, you gain weight.  Again, it is pretty simple.
  17. Become a helper: kids who have had even a little success at weight control can really help other kids just starting out.  This is a win-win situation.  Kids who have gone through the struggle of changing their lifestyle and controlling their weight are by far the best help for those who are new and overwhelmed.  And teaching someone else about how to control his/her weight and be healthy will really solidify your (the helper's) lifestyle change.

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