Weight Management: VICTORY
When thinking about helpful hints for healthy eating and weight control, use the acronym
V I C T O R Y
Vegetables and fruits are #1
- Vegetables and fruits should be the most important part of your diet. They provide nutrients and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) to help prevent heart disease and cancer. A diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps with weight control.
- Try to eat 5-9 servings everyday.
- Try to vary the types of fruit and vegetables you eat. Each one has its own make-up. If you vary which kinds you eat, you will get a good mix of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. This will enhance your dietary health and improve your immune system.
- Research is being done to find out which plant foods and which parts of plant foods help prevent and fight cancer and other diseases. Reports suggest that some of the most vital foods to include in your diet are: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, chard, greens, carrots, squash, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, mangos, cantaloupe, and berries.
- Eat them the way you like them. It is not necessary to eat them raw. Most nutrients are not destroyed by cooking. In fact, some nutrients are easier for your body to absorb after cooking.
- Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal and find new ways to prepare them. They can be part of every course from appetizer to dessert and they make great snacks too.
Ignore secret weight loss formulas and fad diets.
- There is no magic diet or formula or pill that will promise weight control or weight loss.
- Most diets in the current best selling books provide new twists on old diets that did not work in the past. If there really were a secret diet, we would all soon learn about it and there would be no need for yet another diet book.
- Many fad type diets are lacking in some crucial nutrients. This is true of any diet that limits the types of foods you can eat or tells you which foods you can eat together. You do not want to stress your body with a diet that is low in important nutrients. You do not want a diet that contains an unnatural balance of nutrients.
- “Diets” do not work because they make you feel deprived and crabby. Diets are most often “something you go on temporarily”. Often you live for the day when you can go off your diet. Do not spend your life going on and off diets.
- Form good, sensible eating habits and this will be the ideal “diet” for life.
Calories do count.
- Weight is a balance of “calories in” and “calories out”.
- Become aware of the caloric value of the foods you eat.
- If you lack energy and have decreased your activity, you may be using fewer calories. You may have gained weight even though you are not eating any more than usual.
- Use lower-fat choices in place of high fat foods.
- Try reduced-fat recipes. Use as little fat in cooking as possible.
- Limit the fat in your diet, but counting only fat grams is not the total answer to weight control. Low fat foods can fool you. Some low-fat foods can be higher in calories.
- Increase the fiber in your diet to help you feel full without adding lots of calories. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, high fiber cereals, dried beans, split peas, lentils and other legumes. Also, whole fruits and vegetables are higher in fiber than their juices alone.
- Surround yourself with low calorie snack foods at home or work. Avoid having high calorie snack goods around. Making food harder to get forces you to make a planned decision to eat.
- Don’t forget about the calories in the drinks you choose. Calories in fruit juices add up quickly. Flavored bottled waters and ice teas can be high in calories. Check labels.
- Don’t use high calorie foods to reward yourself. One high calorie treat can mess up all your good choices from the rest of the day.
- Budget your calories and use them wisely. If a food isn’t very tasty and not worth the calories, don’t eat it.
Take time to enjoy your food.
- One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating. Choose foods you really like.
- Slow down when you eat. Listen to soothing music to help you slow down.
- Stop in the middle of your meal to check your hunger and appetite. Wait a few minutes before deciding if you need more food.
- Be aware of what you are eating. If you are not aware of what you put in your mouth you may end up eating more than you had planned.
- Savor your food. If your food is really good but high in calories, limit the amount you eat and enjoy every bite.
When you go Out to eat, think about the statements listed below.
- Restaurant meals are known for being high in calories and high in fat but there are some with good choices on the menu. When picking where to go out to eat, make it a point to choose places that provide some good healthy choices.
- Take care when you make your menu choice. Ask questions to find out how foods are prepared.
- Salads are not always low calorie choices. Although you can create a healthy low calorie salad from a salad bar, there are some choices that are high in calories or fat. Watch out for bacon bits, cheese, seeds, fried croutons, pasta with mayonnaise dressing, potato salad, and regular dressing.
- Ask for salad dressings and sauces on the side. Use them sparingly.
- Ask for low fat or low calorie dressings and sauces. Watch out for the “extras” suggested by your server.
- Order small or half-size portions or share a meal with a friend.
- Don’t give in to pressures from fellow diners to eat foods you really would like to avoid.
- Watch out for alcoholic drinks. They add calories and reduce self-control. You may end up eating more than you wanted to eat.
- Save food to take home for your hungry dog.
Read labels and nutritional analysis on recipes.
- Food labels give a wealth of information. Check for calories, fat and other nutrients that are of interest to you. Do not assume that a label with the words “low fat” or “healthy” will mean low calories.
- Be aware of serving size. What may seem like a single serving to you may in fact be labeled for two or more servings on the package. Adjust your calorie count to match the serving size you plan to eat.
- Use the label to budget your calories. Judge the food by asking, “Is this food worth the calories? Is it a good source of nutrients?”
- In cookbooks, check nutrient analysis for calories and fat in the recipes before making your choices.
You make the choices.
- You are in charge of what you eat. Focus on behavior changes rather than diet changes.
- Focus on improving your total health by improving your eating habits with small changes.
- Listen to your body cues and eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
- It is hard to make good choices if you get really hungry. The hungrier you are, the harder it is to resist the urge at a cocktail party, a buffet table or even standing in front of your own refrigerator.
- Consider your new eating habits to be part of a healthy new lifestyle. Do not go on a restrictive diet. Do not make changes that are very unpleasant or uncomfortable for you. Be sensible in your choices and you will continue them for a lifetime.
- Identify foods that you really enjoy and budget them into your eating plan.
- Include daily exercise. Exercise is vital to weight maintenance. Any amount is better than none at all. You don’t have to exercise in big blocks of time. Exercising several times a day for 10 minutes each time can be very helpful too.
- Take walks in the fresh air. It will make you feel better. Walking is an easy type of exercise to start. It needs no special supplies and you can walk everywhere. Find a walking partner or walk the dog.
- Adopt an eating plan that you can live with and enjoy. Healthy eating along with exercise will enhance your life.
If you have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below.
2880 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
UW Health West Clinic
451 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717
UW Health East Clinic
5249 East Terrace Drive
Madison, WI 53718
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/24/2012
Copyright © 03/09/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#351
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