Library shelves and bookstores are filled with books about weight control, because many people are concerned with being overweight. This concern is justified. Obesity, the condition in which too much of the body is composed of fat, is a serious health problem.
If you are overweight and serious about losing extra pounds, the solution is simple _consume fewer calories and get more exercise. Do this on a moderate, regular schedule _no crash or fad diets and no furious exercise programs. It takes 3,500 calories to make one pound of body fat, so by cutting only 500 calories a day, a dieter can lose one pound in a week. This is a safe amount to lose and an effective way to diet.
Cutting down on calories does not mean cutting down on nutrition. A wise weight-control diet will be based on the Four Food Groups. Accumulating extra weight is a long-term process, and so is getting rid of it. Just as gaining extra pounds is due largely to poor eating habits, losing them will depend upon developing new eating habits _habits that once established ought to last a lifetime.
Planning for nutritionally balanced, appetizing meals will become second nature to you if you understand the Four Food Groups and use the guidelines of the Daily Food Guide. Put together a variety of foods from the four groups, adding from the Other Group for flavor and fun, and you can hardly go wrong. Try to include foods that have well-rounded nutrient personalities, with a combination of food values (protein, calories, vitamins, minerals, etc.). Choose foods wisely so you benefit from everything you eat.
Breakfast should provide at least one fourth of the daily food needs. If the usual breakfast foods leave you cold, try an appealing array of cheeses, muffins or breads, fruits, and yogurt. After all, lox, cream cheese, and bagels are a common breakfast combination.
Make lunch worth something by selecting a meat, fish, or egg sandwich (on enriched or whole grain bread). Add something from the Fruit and Vegetable Group as a garnish or go-with. Cheese, fruit, and enriched bread or crackers are even easier to fix and still supply what you need to get on with the day.
Usually the evening meal is planned around a main dish. A green or yellow vegetable, rich in vitamins, will complement any main dish. Salads and breads are frequent accompaniments to dinners and suppers. Vary the greens you use in tossed salads. When a tossed salad doesn't seem to fit the bill, offer fruit salad, cole slaw, or a relish tray. Muffins, biscuits, or French bread can add a special touch to a meal, too. Desserts should be chosen to complement the dinner. Choose a light dessert, such as sherbet or fruit, to follow a heavy meal.