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Health Information for the Public

Try These Steps To Lose Weight

Your Choice for Change - Honoring the Gift of Heart Health for American Indians

Section Five - Maintain a Healthy Weight! Stay Active and Feel Better!

Mary: "We took steps to lose weight slowly. We are now at a healthy weight. My cousin followed a diet that offered a fast and easy way to lose weight. She lost weight initially, but she gained it all back."

  1. Choose heart healthy foods.

    • Choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and cheese.
    • Eat fruit and vegetables with your meals.
    • Drink water or other calorie-free drinks instead of regular soda.
    • Eat lean cuts of meat and fish.Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out what types of fish are lower in mercury. Mercury may be harmful for your baby.

  2. Prepare foods the heart healthy way.

    • Bake, boil, or broil foods instead of frying.
    • Cook beans and rice without lard or bacon.
    • Use fat-free or low-fat dressing on your salad.

  3. Read the nutrition facts on the food labels to choose foods lower in calories and sugar.

    Compare these Nutrition Facts labels for water and regular soda.

    Which one is the better choice?

    Water
    Regular Soda
    Nutrition Facts for 8 fluid ounces of water: 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar.
    Nutrition Facts for 1 can of regular soda: 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

    Answer: The water is the better choice. Regular soda has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. The water has no calories or sugar.


  4. Limit your portion size.

    • Eat small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day instead of one big meal.
    • When eating out:
      • Split a main dish with a friend.
      • Order two small side orders, such as a half sandwich and salad, instead of a large entree.
      • Divide your main dish in half as soon as you get it. Ask the server to wrap the other half "to go."

* Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers: Talk to your health care provider to find out what types of fish are lower in mercury. Mercury may be harmful for your baby.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6340
June 2008

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