7 tips that help you lose weight successfully

Losing body weight is not an easy task.

Here are 7 tips that could help you achieve the goal.

Calorie in < Calorie out

To lose weight, reduce the number of calories you take in and increase the amount of physical activity you do each day.

Create and follow a healthy eating plan that replaces less healthy options with a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein foods, and low-fat dairy:

Eat a mix of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

Limit added sugars, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and saturated fat.

Eat low-fat protein: beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and poultry.

Limit the calories in your favorite foods

When trying to lose weight, you can still eat your favorite foods as part of a healthy eating plan. But you must watch the total number of calories that you eat.

Reduce your portion sizes (see the sidebar to understand portions and servings). Find ways to limit the calories in your favorite foods.

For example, you can bake foods rather than frying them. Use low-fat milk in place of cream. Make half of your plate fruits and veggies.

Include a variety of healthy food in each meal

Choose meals and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try these examples:

For a quick breakfast, make oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh berries. Or eat a slice of whole-wheat toast with fruit spread.

Pack a healthy lunch each night, so you won’t be tempted to rush out of the house in the morning without one.

For healthy nibbles, pack a small low-fat yogurt, a couple of whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or veggies with hummus.

Choose fast food wisely

To choose healthy, low-calorie options, check the nutrition facts. These are often offered on the menu or on restaurant websites.

And know that the nutrition facts often do not include sauces and extras. Try these tips:

Avoid “value” combo meals, which tend to have more calories than you need in one meal.

Choose fresh fruit items or nonfat yogurt for dessert.

Limit your use of toppings that are high in fat and calories, such as bacon, cheese, regular mayonnaise, salad dressings, and tartar sauce.

Pick steamed or baked items over fried ones.

Sip on water or fat-free milk instead of soda.

Choose frozen and canned food wisely

Check the nutrition facts on canned, dried, and frozen items. Look for items that are high in calcium, fiber, potassium, protein, and vitamin D.

Also check for items that are low in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

Nutrition Facts labels are important

Read the Nutrition Facts label on a food package to find out how many calories are in a serving. Check the serving size, too—it may be less than you are used to eating.

Combing healthy habits together

Research suggests that safe weight loss involves combining a reduced-calorie diet with physical activity to lose 1/2 to 2 pounds a week (after the first few weeks of weight loss).

Make healthy food choices. Eat small portions. Build exercise into your daily life. Combined, these habits may be a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off.

These habits may also lower your chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

Source: NIH.