Losing weight can be difficult. There is no magic pill. It’s truly a set of lifestyle changes that need to be acquired for life. In a nutshell, it’s a combination of eating right and exercising – calories you eat need to be less than the calories you expend. And by eating right, it means that almost ½ of what you eat should be fruits and vegetables prepared in healthful ways. More than 90% of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables (including beans.) They eat too much of everything else, including sweets, processed meats, calorie-laden beverages, and fried foods. Fruits and vegetables are almost all low in calories and contain a lot of water and fiber which can make you fill full with fewer calories. Sometimes people eat when they’re bored or upset, so understanding these triggers and finding outlets other than food will be important.
In terms of keeping hunger at bay, eating 3 meals with healthy snacks between each meal is one way to keep hunger at bay. But make sure the total calories for the day are less than what you use. Here is an on-line tracker to help you keep track of how much you need and how many calories you use doing different activities: http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/
Making sure that you have some protein or a small amount of health fat (e.g. cottage cheese, peanut butter, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds) with your fruits and veggies can also help. Exercising, including some weight lifting, not only burns calories, but assures that you have more muscle. More muscle means you burn more calories all day long, even when you’re sleeping. And don’t try to lose more than 2 pounds/week. Otherwise, you’re likely losing muscle instead of fat. Also, if you’re losing more than 2 pounds per week, you’ve probably made changes that are too drastic and will be hard to continue to live by. Getting overly hungry often results in overeating at the next meal – so slow and steady weight loss is the best way to lose weight, and you don’t get as hungry either.
If you are very overweight, be sure to consult a doctor first. If you are interested in more one on one discussions with a dietitian in your area, you can find one here: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_4875_ENU_HTML.htm.