Healthy eating can be challenging for all of us, and making major lifestyle changes to trim down to a healthier weight can feel overwhelming.  But being overweight increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and high cholesterol, just to name a few. So weight loss efforts are well worth it! 

Even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact.  Start by trying one of the changes we’ve suggested here, and see if you can slowly adopt other changes!

1 - Change the way you shop for food!

     - Make a grocery list.  Meal planning helps you to be mindful of making healthy food choices.  A grocery list will also help cut down on impulse buying, will save you money and needless calories, and will get you in and out of the store quicker.  Buy and try a        new fruit or vegetable.  You may discover a new healthy snack that you love!  Papaya, kiwi, or Swiss chard, anyone?

     - Go to the candy-free checkout aisle.  Why tempt yourself?

     - Buy your favorite treats in moderation.  How about one fresh bakery cookie instead of buying a whole box?  Or grab a few sweets from the bulk bin instead of buying a whole bag?

​2 - Change the way you prepare food

     - Grill, steam, or bake instead of frying your food.

     - Cut back on added fats and oils.  Try some new spices to add more flavor.

     - Use fat-free or low-fat sour cream, mayo, and dressings.  Keeping these garnishes on the side can be helpful, as well.

3 - Change the way you serve food

     - Use smaller plates.  This helps to keep portion sizes in check.

     - Cut or share high calorie foods, like cheese or desserts.

     - Serve alcohol on weekends only. Limit these non-nutritional calories by sticking to one or two drinks per week.

     - Serve water instead of soda at meals.

     - Don’t totally deprive yourself!  Enjoy your favorite comfort foods, but in smaller portion sizes and less often.

4 - Change your eating habits

     - Keep to a regular eating schedule.  Don’t wait until you are too hungry before eating, as this may lead to over-eating. 

     - Try not to eat late at night.

     - Eat breakfast every single day.

     - Eat as a family most days of the week.  Slow down, enjoy your food and your family.

Hopefully, by making one or more of these little changes, you can see big results in your health and your weight!

Vincent Pera, M.D. and Angela Simpson, M.D.

Vincent Pera, M.D., and Angela Simpson, M.D., are physicians with the Center for Weight and Wellness at The Miriam Hospital. Dr. Pera is director of the Weight Management Program and co-director of the center. His specialty is the medical treatment of obesity.  Dr. Simpson is a board certified internal medicine physician, who started at the Center for Weight and Wellness in November, 2016.