Tips for successful weight loss

7 Min Read

One pound of extra body fat is equal to about thirty-five hundred calories that you consumed and did not burn. Therefore, to lose one pound of body fat you need to decrease your caloric intake by about thirty-five hundred calories. Experts typically recommend losing about one pound per week, so to lose that pound you would need to reduce your calorie intake by about five hundred calories per day.

Sure, you’ve seen lots of diets that say you can drop seven pounds in seven days or twenty pounds the first month. What the promoters of these diets fail to tell you is that these plans are unhealthy and that you will probably gain all the weight back and more. In fact, if you have high blood pressure and need to lose weight, you don’t need a diet you need a healthy eating plan that you can live with for the rest of your life, because you need to stay on top of your blood pressure. You need to keep moving and exercising to manage your blood pressure. So, like exercise, weight management is a lifelong process.

Here are some tips to help you not only achieve a healthy weight to help lower your blood pressure but also improve your chances of keeping those extra pounds off:

  • Use one of the eating plans in chapter 3 as your guide. DASH, vegetarian, and vegan eating choices include the types of foods that can help you drop pounds as well as lower blood pressure.
  • Beware of how foods are prepared. Even the healthiest foods can turn into calorie and fat laden horrors if they are prepared in unhealthy ways. For example, avoid fried foods and foods served with butter, cream, cheese or cheese sauces, or gravies. Steam your vegetables, broil, bake, stir-fry, or poach your low-fat meats and fish, and bake your potatoes, squash, and yams.
  • If you eat out, always ask how an item is prepared, including the method used and the ingredients that are added to the preparation process. If they cannot prepare it to your specifications, order something else.
  • Use spray-on oils for cooking. A light coat of these oils allow you to “fry” without the added calories.
  • Choose whole grain and high-fiber foods rather than processed or refined foods. Whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals not only provide more fiber and nutrients; they also fill you up faster, making you want to eat less.
  • Add foods to your diet. Yes, I said add. Remember, you need to make a lifestyle change in your eating habits to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, so think about tasty foods you can add to your menu instead of those you may need to avoid. How about fresh raspberries or peaches dipped in no-fat yogurt? Have you tried black bean and fresh tomato dip with cilantro with fresh veggies? How about a low-fat, low-calorie version of chocolate-chip cookies? All of these foods, and more, are available. Remember, millions of people who have high blood pressure and other health issues can benefit from low-fat, low-calorie choices and the recipes and food items are out there, waiting for you to try them.
  • Choose lighter versions of favorites. If you feel like you absolutely can’t live without eating chocolate pudding several times a week, then find low-fat, low-calorie versions or recipes for that pudding. Many recipes can be modified to reflect lower fat, cholesterol, and calories. You don’t have to give up anything… just modify it!
  • Use smaller dishes. Did you know researchers found that using smaller dinner plates helped people eat less food and fewer calories? Investigators from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Cornell University found that the bigger the dinner bowl or plate, the bigger the portion of food people ate. In fact, you could eat 9 to 31 percent more food if you chose a bigger serving container.
  • Don’t get hungry. Eat small, nutrition-dense foods throughout the day. Forget the three-meal a-day routine. You may find it better to eat a small breakfast, a mini mid-morning snack (say a piece of fruit or a small container of low-fat yogurt), a small lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, and a small dinner. If you hear the refrigerator or pantry calling you after dinner, reach for a high fiber, nutrient-rich snack, such as an apple or dried apricots.
  • Write down what you eat. And I mean everything. You may be surprised when you look at your food diary and see what you eat while watching television, sitting in front of the computer, cooking dinner, at your desk at work, and before you go to bed. Having a visual reminder of what you actually consume can help you make changes to your eating habits and establish healthier goals.
  • Get some support. Find friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers, or Internet friends to support and who can support you with your weight loss efforts and your goal to maintain a healthy eating program for the rest of your life. Fighting pounds can be a challenge, and surrounding yourself with a cheerleading team, of which you are also a member, can be a great help.
  • Stay active. That means your mind as well as your body. If you get bored, you may begin to eat mindlessly, and that can mean consuming lots of extra calories, fat, and cholesterol that can be detrimental to your blood pressure. Be prepared for boredom by having a list of things you can do when life becomes a bit slow. Call friends, find something interesting on the Internet, take a walk, start a new project, watch some funny videos, or work on a puzzle. Basically, have an “activity box” available so you don’t open the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet door instead.
Share this Article