Mayo Clinic: Make a plan for weight loss success –

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If losing weight is on your 2023 to-do list, now is the time to organize your weight-loss plan.
Effective, lifelong weight-loss interventions take time and planning. And there’s a lot to think about: What is your weight goal? What will you eat? Will you count calories? When will you exercise, and how much time will you spend exercising? What type of exercises will you do?
The key word is “simplify.” Follow these simple and helpful tips for you to make achieving your weight-loss goals easier this year:
Simplify your menu, and plan ahead.
Planning a weekly menu saves money and time. Before the week begins, write down what you’ll eat each night for supper. Eat leftovers for lunch. A good goal is to eat out or get food delivered only once a week or less.
Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
When you shop on an empty stomach, you’re much more likely to purchase unnecessary and unhealthy items. Shop for groceries after eating. Stick to your list of healthy items needed for the week. First, shop the perimeter of the store where most healthy items are located. Then, enter the middle aisles, if needed, while avoiding highly processed foods.
Shoot for a meal with less than 500 calories.
Do the math: three meals at 500 calories or less is, at most, 1,500 calories per day. One pound of fat is 3,500 calories. This is how much you’ll have to cut from your daily diet or burn through exercise to lose one pound of stored fat. It seems like a lot, but you can do it. You may want to contact your local dietitian to discuss your personal calorie needs.
Read the nutrition facts.
Most food packages list nutrition facts. Take note of the serving size and total calories per serving. Other areas to watch include added sugars and fat content.
Plan exercises.
Next to your weekly menu, write down what type of exercise you’ll complete each morning or evening, along with the time frame. This will help hold you accountable and keep you committed. Even 20 minutes of daily exercise will support your weight and health goals.
Switch up your exercise routine.
Varying your exercises also is helpful. Not only is it more fun, but different activities also work different parts of your body. Swimming, running, biking, yoga, walking and weightlifting are just a few options.
Have fun and bring back memories.
Try to enjoy yourself while improving your wellness. Eating healthy and exercising can be fun. Get a partner to join you. Be creative when planning your menu. Find a picture of yourself when you weighed less. Tape this picture in the bathroom or on the fridge to remind yourself each morning and throughout the day of your goals.
Anne Harguth is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca, Minnesota.
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