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Weight Management: Healthy Eating

Food is your body’s fuel. You can’t live without it. The key is to give your body enough nutrients and energy without eating too much. Reading food labels can help you make healthy choices. Also, learn new eating habits to manage your weight.

Nutrition Facts label showing calories from fat: how many calories from fat in one serving. Total fat: how many grams of fat in one serving. Saturated fat: how many grams of saturated fat in one serving. Trans fat: how many grams of trans fat in one serving. Dietary fiber: total grams of fiber in one serving.
All the values on the label are based on one serving. The serving size is the average portion. Remember to multiply the values on the label by the number of servings you eat.

Eat Less Fat

A gram of fat has almost 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates. Try to balance your food choices so that only 20% to 35% of your calories comes from total fat. This means an average of 2½ to 3½ grams of fat for each 100 calories you eat.

Eat More Fiber

High-fiber foods are digested more slowly than low-fiber foods, so you feel full longer. Try to get 31 grams of fiber each day. Foods high in fiber include:

  • Vegetables and fruits

  • Whole-grain or bran breads, pastas, and cereals

  • Legumes (beans) and peas

As you begin to eat more fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your digestive system working smoothly.

Tips

  • Don’t skip meals. This often leads to overeating later on. It’s best to spread your eating throughout the day.

  • Eat a variety of foods, not just a few favorites.

  • If you find yourself eating when you’re not hungry, ask yourself why. Many of us eat when we’re bored, stressed, or just to be polite. Listen to your body. If you’re not hungry, get busy doing something else instead of eating.

  • Eat slower, shooting for 20 to 30 minutes for each meal. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full.

  • Pay attention to what you eat. Don’t read or watch TV during your meal.

Online Medical Reviewer: Grantham, Paula, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 2/26/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.