Are you among those trying to lose weight this January? If so, you’ll be interested to see what was said when a loyal LIVING HEALTHY reader submitted a question to our “Ask Our Dietitian” section asking: “What are your three most important diet/weight loss tips?”

This is what our registered dietitian’s response was…

“Wow, my three most important diet/weight loss tips? Here it goes…

1) Eat more vegetables – There aren’t many weight loss plans that wouldn’t benefit from consuming more vegetables! The antioxidants, fiber, water content and minerals in vegetables are tremendous — especially considering how few calories they contain. Few people meet the 7 to 9 recommended servings (for men) and 5 to 7 recommended servings (for women), respectively, of vegetables per day.

2) Eat only what you need – If physiological hunger ruled our mouths, I don’t think we’d have such a weight problem in this country. Instead, our eyes lead us to fill oversized cups, plates and bowls to the brim, and in doing so, we eat more than we need. While what you eat makes a huge difference, how much you eat also matters greatly. For instance, if you want a slice of pizza — eating a small slice of thin crust isn’t bad. But eating 3 to 4 large slices of pan crust is another story.

How You can Control Portions to Lose Weight and Get Lean!

3) Prepare your own food – People don’t realize the hidden fats, sugars and salt that go into many restaurants and packaged foods. When you make meals from scratch, you have control over the method of preparation and the condiments you use, which saves you one-third of the calories on average, compared to eating out.[i] Yes, cooking is a time commitment, as are other aspects of your health (e.g., exercise and hygiene). But, making food quality a priority is just as beneficial as adequate sleep for your physical welfare.

Thanks for asking my opinion. I hope you take it to heart!”

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

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