Healthy Weight Strategies
Controlling your weight does not necessarily mean changing your lifestyle at all. Please take it in small steps, set yourself modest, realistic goals, and then develop from there. A low, regular weight loss of 1 pound or 2 ( to 1 kg) per week is more comfortable to achieve and healthier for your heart than a substantial, sudden loss. Studies also show that you will be less likely to regain that lost weight.
What should you eat?
Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, filling half of all your meals and snacks with them. Whenever possible, opt for whole-grain bread and cereals to feel full.
Go for protein from a variety of sources, including beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, low-fat yoghurt and cheese, lean meats, poultry and fish.
Taste a wide variety of healthy foods, from red peppers to dark green leaf lettuce, whole grain bread, legumes, beans, tofu, low-fat milk, lean meat and nuts so that you can enjoy a variety of essential nutrients.
Read the Nutrition Facts table on food packaging to assess the number of calories and the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt in a product. Also see the Nutrition Facts table for the content of healthy nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamins from complexes A and C, iron and calcium.
Avoid highly processed, or ultra-processed foods, as they are an essential source of saturated fat, sugar and salt. Generally, these foods contain a large number of ingredients, are available in packaging and require little preparation. Here are a few examples:
processed meats (hot dogs, burgers, cold meats);
fried foods (fries, onion rings);
frozen meals (pizza, pasta accompaniments);
snack foods (potato chips, crackers, doughnuts, cookies).
What should you drink?
Drink mostly water throughout the day.
Choose low-fat milk (skim, 1%).
Avoid carbonated drinks, sugary drinks, fruit juices and alcohol.
How much should you eat?
Give your portions a reasonable size. Avoid the huge parts and the second service.
Use smaller plates, bowls and cups.
Fill half the plate with vegetables and fruit, a quarter of whole grains and the other quarter of protein foods.
When should you eat?
Eat three meals and two snacks a day, at regular intervals.
Make sure you have lunch. People who eat breakfast tend to maintain a healthy weight.
How should you eat?
Eat slowly, savouring the aromas and textures.
Make meals a social activity with family or friends, which can prevent overeating.
Avoid “eating without thinking” at your desk, in your car or front of the TV.
Be physically active
Adults 18 to 64 years of age as well as seniors 65 years of age and older should exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.
Barely 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, most days of the week, such as brisk walking, not only contributes to weight loss but is an essential factor in not losing those pounds in the long term.
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults between the ages of 18 and 65 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Try using a pedometer to motivate yourself to be active every day by counting your steps.
Measuring your waistline can help assess your health risk associated with obesity. Even with a healthy weight, being overweight around your waist can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The best way to know if your waist size increases your risk of cardiovascular disease is to measure it. For more information, please read our article Waist and healthy weight.