Eat Healthy

Weight Control Programs

It seems that the media is talking about a new "diet" or weight loss trick every other day. However, a lot of those food plans have tipped the scale in favor of one food group or another and do not encourage a healthy balance of nutrients or realistic menu choices.

If your health care provider tells you that you should lose weight and you want to find a weight-loss program to help you, look for one that is based on regular physical activity and an eating plan that is balanced, healthy, and easy to follow. Weight-loss programs should encourage healthy behaviors that help you lose weight and that you can stick with every day. Safe and effective weight-loss programs should include:

  • Healthy eating plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
  • Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Tips on healthy behavior changes that also keep your cultural needs in mind.
  • Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 lbs per week. Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.
  • Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very low-calorie (1200 or less) diet.
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.

Note: To take off one pound per week, you'll need to reduce calories (the amount of food you eat) by 500 per day. (One pound of body fat equals about 3,500 calories.) Try eating 250 calories less per day and exercising enough to burn 250 calories like walking about 2.5 miles each day. The easiest way to cut back on calories is to watch your portion sizes.

Weight Loss Resources:

image of utah dietetic association logo The Utah Dietetic Association is Utah's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. UDA members are registered dietitians that serve the public by translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for everyday healthy living.

Note: Some of the Web sites listed below may charge a fee for their diet or weight loss information.

TOPS - or Take Off Pounds Sensibly offers online support as well as local chapters for nutrition and fitness advice. It is a non-profit organization. Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive overeating. OA is not just about weight loss, obesity or diets; it addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
For a list of national weight-loss and healthy living programs, visit the Obesity in America website. To learn more about what is considered a healthy weight loss program, visit the Weight-control Information Network.
The Volumetrics Eating Plan from Barbara Roll, PhD, was rated by Consumer Reports to be the best diet plan.

Find facts about the Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension (DASH) (pdf) with this fact booklet.

"Weight Loss - Finding a Program That Works for You." (pdf) American Heart Association - The "No Fad" Diet
The Glycemic Index Diet Trainer Neil Anderson's seven day diets for calorie intake ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 calories.

**Check Your Health recommends that you talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss program.

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