Nutrition Basics

Vitamins and Minerals

Food Substitutes

Healthy Eating

Eating for Disease Management

Special Considerations

Children and Nutrition

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Nutritional Concerns for the Older Adult

The Weight Loss Links

What Diets Can I Use to Lose Weight?

Eating Disorders

Food Safety

Modern Food Trends

Nutrition Index

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Using a Peak Flow Meter
Using a Peak Flow Meter

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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Nutrition for Weight Loss

The skinny on diets

Over half of Americans are on a weight-loss diet or are trying to maintain their weight. The grim fact is that most gain the weight right back. As a country, we spend 33 billion dollars per year on weight-reduction products, like diet drinks and foods. It's no wonder that there are more weight-loss programs in existence than you can shake a fork at. What does this mean for you? It means "caveat emptor" or buyer beware.

A specific weight-loss program needs to keep you healthy and keep a smile on your face. If you try a certain diet (even one of your own creation) and find yourself dreading mealtime for the tasteless assortment of morsels on your plate, it is time to try something else. Select a flexible weight-loss plan that allows you to consume a variety of foods that you enjoy in moderation. A responsible, safe, and appetizing weight-loss program should be able to document the following five parameters:

  1. The diet should be safe. This means it should include all of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins, minerals, and protein. The weight-loss diet should be low in calories (energy) only, not in essential foodstuffs.

  2. The weight-loss program should focus on slow, steady weight loss unless your doctor feels you need more rapid results for valid health reasons (i.e. a quickly-approaching swimsuit season is not a valid health reason for rapid weight loss!). With many calorie-restricted diets, you'll lose more weight in the first one to two weeks, but this loss is largely fluid and will be gained back when you return to a normal-calorie diet. So, be sure to keep your motivation up once this initial rapid loss plateaus into a more realistic weekly loss.

  3. If you plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds, have any health

    problems, or take medication regularly, you should be evaluated by your doctor before beginning a weight-loss program. If you plan to use a very-low-calorie diet (a special liquid formula diet that replaces all food intake for 1 to 4 months), you must be examined and monitored by a doctor.

  4. Your program should include plans for weight maintenance once your reach your goal. Weight maintenance is the most difficult part of controlling weight and is not consistently addressed in weight-loss programs. Your program should help you permanently change your dietary and physical activity habits to alter a lifestyle that may have contributed to weight gain in the past. Your program should provide behavior modification help, including education in healthy eating habits and long-term plans to deal with weight problems.

  5. Don't let it be your wallet losing most of the weight. If you choose a commercial weight-loss program, beware of hidden costs. Get a detailed statement of how much everything will cost, like counseling, groups, dietary supplements and food.

Assignment #4
Wow, you've learned a lot. You might be a bonafide nutrition superstar by now. But first, put yourself to the test again with the quiz.

We hope you scored as well as you'd hoped. If not, you can always go back and review what you missed. Coming up next: Nutrition for diabetes management.

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