Jennifer’s Journal: Strategies for weight loss

By Jennifer Howard

Clark County Extension Service

Did you make that same New Year’s Resolution to lose weight again this year?

Many of us do and in attempting to lose weight many individuals will try fad diets, diet pills and or weight loss drinks. Successful weight loss begins when we become more aware of what we eat and our lifestyle habits.

There are several strategies that have shown they can help people manage their food intake which ultimately helps manage their body weight.

Here are seven successful strategies:

1. Focus on the total number of calories consumed. In order to lose weight, a person must reduce the number of calories consumed.

2. Monitor your food intake. In other words, write down all the foods you eat and drink. Pay attention to the calorie information on food labels for each serving size. There are a lot of apps available now to help with this.

3. Cook and eat more meals at home. You have more control over the ingredients you use and the methods of cooking when you prepare meals at home. When eating out, choose smaller portions or lower calorie options and whenever possible share a meal or take part of it home.

4. Serve and consume smaller portions. Individuals who eat and drink smaller portions will lose weight over time.

5. Eat breakfast. Not eating breakfast has been associated with excess body weight. Skipping any meal has been shown to lead to overeating.

6. Limit screen time. Get up and get moving. Avoid eating while watching television, which can result in overeating.

7. Take time each day to be active. It is recommended that we get 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity five or more days of the week. For weight loss even more activity may be needed.

To help you get started on physical activity, the Clark County Activity Coalition will be sponsoring the Wellness Challenge. This is your chance to get in shape and shed unwanted pounds.

The Clark County Wellness Challenge is a 10-week weight loss competition which offers classes to help you reach your goal. Weighing in every week holds you accountable and keeps your motivated.

Watch the Winchester Sun for registration information coming soon.

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.