Weight Loss FAQs
Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on November 14, 2018
Test your Knowledge!
- You should weigh yourself often. True or false?
- Which fats should you cut back on to lose weight?
- To help lose weight faster, you should drink water before meals. True or false?
- If you eat too much lunch, should you skip dinner? Yes or no?
- After eating, how long should it take before you feel full?
- To lose weight, you should plan every meal. True or false?
- Why should you keep a food diary?
- Which carbs should you avoid to lose weight?
- You can have all the grilled chicken you want and still lose weight. True or false?
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Q:You should weigh yourself often. True or false?
People who succeed at losing weight and keeping it off weigh themselves often, research shows. A step on the scale at least once a week seems to build awareness best.
Don't stress if the number on the scale goes up and down: Weight can change by several pounds over the course of a few days as water weight shifts.
Q:Which fats should you cut back on to lose weight?
A:Saturated fats. Less than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats, say government dietary guidelines.
Not eating one type of food doesn't translate to cutting overall calories. Besides, fat can help you feel full after eating, which may curb your desire for seconds or dessert. Your body needs some dietary fat to function.
Replace butter and processed foods with more healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, cold water fish, tofu, avocado, and small amounts of nuts. Although lowering saturated fat isn't magical for weight loss, it is beneficial for overall health.
Q:To help lose weight faster, you should drink water before meals. True or false?
Drinking water, especially before mealtime, helps fill you up and makes you eat less. One study found that adults who drank two cups of water before each meal lost more weight than those who didn't.
Water also helps you stay hydrated. When your kidneys are moving water through your body, your water weight is lower.
Q:If you eat too much lunch, should you skip dinner? Yes or no?
Don't skip meals if you're trying to lose weight. You'll feel hungrier later and be more apt to raid the fridge or nibble on junk -- running your day's calorie total potentially higher than from a meal. Missing a meal can also leave you less energized, making it less likely that you'll exercise, an important thing if you're trying to lose weight. Having small, nutritious meals and snacks between meals has been shown to help people lose more.
Breakfast is the key don't-skip meal. Regular breakfast eaters are leaner than those who start the day on an empty stomach.
Q:After eating, how long should it take before you feel full?
Eat slowly if you want to lose weight because there's a lag between when your mouth says "mmm!" and your brain registers fullness in your stomach. If you put your fork down between bites and pace yourself, you'll give your brain more time to tell your stomach that you're full.
In one study, women who were urged to eat slowly ate fewer calories and drank more water than when they were urged to eat as quickly as they could.
Q:To lose weight, you should plan every meal. True or false?
Spontaneity is great for some activities, but eating isn't one of them. Weight loss experts recommend planning your meals and snacks to make sure they fit into a well-balanced diet plan.
Without a good plan, you're more vulnerable to the siren call of the nearest vending machine or bakery.
Q:Why should you keep a food diary?
A:Keeping a diary of what you eat can double your weight loss, one of the largest and longest-running studies of weight loss maintenance found.
Food journaling makes you aware of how much you're really gobbling and lets you see -- and fix -- bad patterns.
And a written record makes you more accountable, so you think twice before you scarf down food.
Q:Which carbs should you avoid to lose weight?
A:To lose weight, you should avoid carbs from processed foods.
Despite the popularity of low carbohydrate diets, your body needs this important fuel to work.
It's healthiest to ditch carbs from sugar sweetened beverages like sodas, junk food and animal fats, while still eating some carbs from whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
Q:You can have all the grilled chicken you want and still lose weight. True or false?
Eat your veggies freely without fear of packing on pounds -- they're comparatively low in calories, packed with fiber and nutrition, and help you feel full so you eat less overall.
Easy on the fixings, though: Frying, sautéing, or adding most sauces, dips, and toppings amps up calories.
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