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Question

There seem to be a lot of problems associated with weight-loss supplements, but it’s tough losing weight without them. Any suggestions?

OPSS Answer

The key to losing weight is eating fewer calories than you burn. Although everybody is a little bit different, if you burn 500 – 1000 calories more than you eat every day, you’ll lose one to two pounds each week. Exercise can really make a difference in how many calories you burn, so try to get at least 30 minutes of intense physical activity each day. But make sure your total calorie intake isn’t less than 1200 calories (after accounting for exercise). Eating less is risky because it makes it hard to get all the vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients you need and it can leave you hungry and tired.

It’s also important to eat a varied diet that also includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats to make sure you get all the nutrients you need for optimal performance. Eating a moderate amount of lean protein such as fish, chicken, beans, or low-fat dairy products with every meal is a good idea because when protein is digested, it helps you feel satisfied, which can help control your appetite. Learning to watch your portion sizes can really make a difference.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some great tips on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We also suggest you visit the Fighting Weight Strategies portion of HPRC’s website where you’ll find joint-service and service-specific programs to help you maintain overall health and body weight.

FAQ updated 19 May 2014

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