Steps to a Healthy Weight – Taking Action

young man and young woman outside eating a salad Taking steps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight can often be a challenge. The good news is that small and realistic changes are the way to go! They all add up over time to help you be successful. Read on to learn how to take action and get on the road to a healthy weight.

Start with some healthy eating goals

  • Be realistic and start with one or two goals to focus on. Once you’ve conquered a goal, tackle another one.
  • If you start working towards a goal and then stop, that’s ok. Just try again the next day.
  • Include a friend or family member to make it easier to stick to your goal.

Here are ten healthy eating goals to give you inspiration. 

Use Canada’s Food Guide to shape your meals

Canada’s Food Guide helps you figure out the type and amount of food you need.  Get into a healthy eating routine

Eat three meals every day, especially breakfast. Research shows that eating breakfast is linked to a healthy weight. Skipping meals means you are more likely to overeat. Eat healthy snacks. Reach for fruit or vegetable-based snacks in between meals to keep your energy levels up.

Reach for healthy food options

  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit. Research shows that people who eat fruits and vegetables are more successful at losing weight.
  • Choose whole grains more often, such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and barley, instead of refined grains. Eating whole grains has been linked to gaining less weight as we get older.
  • Focus on high fibre foods. High fibre foods may help with weight loss because they make you feel full, helping you eat less. These foods include fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grain cereals and bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, nuts and seeds.
  • Cook with less fat. While some fat is important for our health, go easy on cooking oils and other fats.  Instead of frying foods, try baking, roasting, broiling, steaming and barbecuing.
  • Avoid foods high in added sugar.

Be mindful of portion sizes

Although you may be eating healthy foods, big portions may stop you from reaching your goals. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls to manage how much you eat. Get more tips on managing your portions.

Drink smart

You need between 9 and 12 cups of fluid every day. Most of that should be water.  Other good choices are milk, fortified soy beverages, and other milk alternatives. Avoid sweetened beverages like juice, flavoured coffees, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Get enough sleep and lower stress levels

Focus on getting enough sleep (7 to 8 hours a night) and reducing stress. These strategies will help you with your weight loss efforts. 

Get active

Being active will help you with your healthy weight plans and will give you more energy even when you feel tired! Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, in periods of 10 minutes or longer. This can include walking briskly, running, taking an exercise class and biking. Being active also means raking leaves, mowing the lawn, playing outside with the kids, and doing yoga. Learn more about the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting any exercise plan, especially if you have not been active recently. Start slowly and work your way up.

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Checklist when choosing a weight loss program

Last Update – October 6, 2020

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