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Healthy Weight Center

What Diet Do You Recommend?

03/11/2009

Question:

I am 5`10" and weight 220lbs I want to lose weight, what diet would you recommend?

Answer:

If you are looking to lose weight, you need to make lifestyle changes, rather than going on a specific "diet." Diets often lead to patterns of losing and regaining weight, often lowering self-esteem due to a sense of failure when weight is regained.

To lose weight, try decreasing your caloric intake and increasing the amount of physical activity you engage in. A slow steady weight loss is recommended at a rate of 1-2lbs per week, which can be achieved by eating 500 calories less per day. Consume a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid to meet your nutrient needs, focusing on increasing the amount of whole grains (such as whole wheat bread, bran cereal, shredded wheat, oatmeal) you consume to three or more servings a day.

Also, choose a variety of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables daily, with a goal of 5-9 servings a day. Lower your total fat intake (especially animal fats) by eating leaner meats and choosing low fat or fat-free dairy products. In addition, you should eat small meals 4-5 times a day, including breakfast, to increase your metabolism.

Skipping meals, such as breakfast, will cause your metabolism to slow down and make it more difficult for you to burn off extra calories. You should also include physical activity as a part of your daily routine, aiming for at least 30-90 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. However, you should always consult your doctor before beginning a physical activity program.

Remember, the key to a successful weight loss is eating fewer calories while increasing your physical activity. For a more individualized eating plan, consider contacting a registered dietitian in your area. You can locate a nutrition professional by visiting the American Dietetic Association's website at http://www.eatright.org/Public/ and clicking on "find a nutrition professional." Good luck!

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Response by:

Jaime  Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD Jaime Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD
Extension Nutrition Associate
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University