NDSU Extension - Mercer County

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Weight Loss Goals for 2019

weight loss goals, weight-loss diet, weight loss, diet

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Community Wellness

I recently saw a post from the local Energy Wellness Center, it said “come and undo what we did over Christmas!” I think we can all relate to that sentiment about now.

Most of us have known someone who has been on a weight-loss diet, and perhaps the person lost a considerable amount of weight.

Maybe you are pondering weight loss as a goal in the coming weeks or months. We hear weight-loss promotions all around us, especially as we begin a new year.

You may have seen late-night infomercials promoting exercise gadgets or supplements that promise quick fixes.

As we know, excess weight can increase the risk for many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Carrying extra weight can promote joint issues leading to mobility problems.

Losing even 5 to 10 percent of body weight (if overweight) can reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

More than 20 years ago, the National Weight Control Registry was launched in the U.S. The participants continue to track their outcomes long-term, and many research papers have been written about their progress through time.

Most (98 percent) modified their food intake to lose weight, and most (94 percent) increased their physical activity. The most common physical activity was walking.

About 45 percent lost weight on their own, and the rest had help from some type of weight-loss program. In all, they had some important things in common. They ate breakfast every day (78 percent), and they exercised an hour per day (90 percent). About 62 percent watched fewer than 10 hours of TV weekly.

Instead of a "diet," consider some general tips that promote behavior changes:

  • Eat a balanced breakfast that includes at least three of the five food groups.
  • Keep high-fiber, low-sugar snacks, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, on hand.
  • Consider your drink choices. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.
  • Serve yourself smaller serving sizes or take home part of restaurant meals.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV.
  • Get moving. To lose weight, experts recommend 300 minutes of moderate activity per week (60 minutes on five or more days of the week). Walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour can help promote weight loss.
  • Set a goal and track your progress.

See https://www.choosemyplate.gov for tips such as these:

  • Vary your veggies. Aim for at least 3 cups of vegetables daily.
  • Focus on whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Aim for at least 2 cups of fruit daily.
  • Make half of your grain choices whole grains.
  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy.
  • Vary your protein routine. Choose lean proteins of all types.

NDSU Extension has resources and links to help men and women maintain their health. Check out our newest website (https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/healthwiseforwomen), which launches a statewide initiative to promote women's health. See https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/healthwiseforguys for information on men's health.

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist

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