Weight loss tips

It’s that time of the year again, when weight reduction resolutions and diets are in our minds. Here is a refresher on how to diet effectively to reduce weight. Here are some older posts on the topic:

Psychology and weight loss

Most active adults need about 2,000 calories a day derived from food and drink. That equates to roughly 20 handfuls of food, with each handful having about 100 calories worth of energy. Think of each handful as a serving of food.

The fewer calories you eat, the less fat you become, but you need a minimum of about 800 to 1200 calories a day to stay alive and prevent your protein (muscle) from breaking down!

Tips for losing weight

  1. Eat almost anything you want, but you must stay away from packaged food, sweets, chips, candy, cookies, etc.

Portion control

  1.  When you eat out, only finish half of your plate. Most restaurants in the US overfeed you with portions large enough for two people. At home, eat off of a salad plate instead of a regular-sized plate.
  2.  At each meal, only have one helping of each type of food (protein, carbs, fats).  DO NOT go back for second helpings!
  3.  Each serving of carbs or protein should be about the size of your fist. You can eat more servings (handfuls) of veggies if you must.

Types of food

  1.  Limit your intake of or stop eating altogether fried food. Anything fried adds 100 calories to the food’s caloric value. Do you want two hard boiled eggs or one fried egg? Same caloric value!
  2.  Limit alcoholic drinks, as they quickly add up calories. One hundred calories per alcoholic drink! But watch out! Have a gin and tonic and add another 100 calories for the tonic! That makes it a 200-calorie drink.
  3.  Do not eat between meals.  If you must, snack on fruits and vegetables only. No bread or sweets (no carbs).
  4.  Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. If you must, drink sugar-free sodas, and only in moderation. Sodas have 100 calories by themselves.


  1.  As I have often written, exercise is a poor way to lose weight but a very necessary way to prevent gaining it!
  2.  Start yourself on a daily walking program:
  •  Start walking for 20 minutes.
  • After you feel that 20 minutes is easy, add 5 minutes.
  • Continue to do this until you get up to 40 minutes of walking a day. At this point, you will begin to burn fat.
  • If you don’t enjoy walking, choose another activity that will help you stay motivated (swimming, biking, aerobics, etc.).

As your eating habits get better and your exercise program progresses, you will begin to see results.  GOOD LUCK!

Morad Tavallali, M.D., FACS