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Ask the Expert - Weight Gain

After having three children, I’ve gained weight and I can’t seem to lose it. My husband has gained weight, too. Do you have any tips to get us started toward a healthy weight?
Ask the Expert - Weight Gain

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By Lynette Winters, M.S., L.R.D.
Senior Lecturer and Director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics
Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, NDSU

You are busy parents with three children to care for. Take time to take care of your health, too. By eating healthfully and getting into regular exercise routine, you will be healthier and have more energy for your growing family.

Your goal for weight loss should be ½ to 1 pound per week. Some great support groups for weight loss and weight maintenance are available, including TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous, to name a few. Try these tips to get started:

  • Try writing down everything that you eat and drink for one day, including the amount. To find out just how many calories you ate, you can use a great Internet tool, www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Most people are surprised by how many calories they actually consume.
  • Think about how to reduce your portion sizes by using smaller dishes; a 7- to 9- inch dinner plate, an 8-ounce glass and a fruit bowl for cereal. Divide your plate and put your entrées on one-quarter of the plate; vegetables (without extra butter or sauce) should take up about half the pate and a potato or rice should take up the last quarter.
  • Limit fats to about 1 tablespoon per meal.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits between meals.
  • Share a restaurant meal with your husband or a friend and practice eating smaller portions by leaving some food on your plate at every meal.
  • Increase your activity level. Wear a pedometer and keep track of your steps, join a fitness club, take the stairs and park farther away from your destination. Find a friend who enjoys walking (outside or at the mall).
  • Try to be less organized (to burn more calories).
  • Play with your children.
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself for your heard work and success; a massage, new outfit, bubble bath, coffee with a friend, some alone time or a date night with your husband.

By eating smaller portions, exercising, and taking better care of yourself, you will enjoy renewed energy and a much more positive outlook on life. You also will be a great role model for your children. For more information on weight loss success, go to the National Weight Control Registry, www.nwcr.ws/. People in this study have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained their weight loss for at least one year.

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