Staying on Track With Your Weight-Loss Plan

You’re working on your weight and becoming healthier every day. Good for you! Here are a few ways to keep you on track with your weight loss plan.

For starters …

Make food changes you can stick with long-term. Don’t cut out entire categories of food. Instead, focus on ways to cut calories in your favorite meals. Save junk food and sweet treats for special occasions.

Think about meals in advance, so you can shop, cook, prepare, and package food for easy access. Staying on track is easier when you can grab a healthy lunch on your way out the door, or warm up a pre-made meal in the microwave when you come home.

Plus, learn to…

Manage your portion sizes. It can be easy to get calorie overload just by having an extra-large serving. Fill your plate with the proper portions of fruits and veggies, protein, and whole grains. And don’t go back for seconds. Not sure what a proper portion is? Go to ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more.

And speaking of portions…

Be mindful when you eat out. Restaurant meals often have larger portions and more fat and calories than food cooked at home. Choose carefully, ask questions, make special requests as needed, and take extras home in a takeout box.

When grocery shopping, be sure to…

Read nutrition labels. Food nutrition labels can tell you what a typical serving size is, as well as the calories, fat, carbs, and fiber that are in each serving. Get into the habit of reading labels before you buy an item. It will help you make healthy choices!

But it’s not all about food. You also need to…

Keep active. Physical activity can help you burn calories, build muscle, and make your body healthier.

And, it’s a good idea to…

Keep track of what you eat. Keep a food journal to track what you eat and drink. You can write in a notebook, or use a smart phone or computer app to help you track your meals, snacks and activities. A pedometer will also track your activity and challenge you to do more.

And don’t forget to…

Log your progress. Weigh yourself at the same time each week, and keep a log of your weight and measurements. This will help you see your triumphs, or troubleshoot as needed.

When you reach a goal…

Reward yourself. Treat yourself with non-food fun -- like a bubble bath, a night at the movies, or a massage.

But if you’re having trouble…

Get support. Encouragement and help from others will help you overcome your struggles. Recruit friends, family members, or coworkers to be your supporters. Weight-loss support groups can be found in your community, and online. You’re not alone, so don’t go it alone!

But most importantly…

Don’t give up! When you have struggles – like a weight-loss plateau, weight gain, snack attacks, or just plain frustration – remember your reasons for losing weight.

Talk it out with your supporters and your health care provider or dietician.

Study your food journal for problem areas to fix.

And, celebrate your progress so far, no matter how small it seems.

Now, it all sounds like a lot, so remember these…

5 Quick Tips to Help You Keep on Track

  • Don’t cut out entire categories of food.

  • Manage your portion sizes – especially when eating out.

  • Read nutrition labels to help you make healthier choices.

  • Keep track of what and how much you eat. And,

  • Use your support network so you don’t have to do this alone.

Keeping your weight loss plan on track is simple, but not always easy, and now you know how!