Keep It Simple - Strategies and Support to Keep Weight Loss Resolutions

February 20, 2013

With the New Year comes resolutions to lose weight, or at least eat healthier. For community members who need support in achieving their weight loss goals, Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals offers comprehensive options and experts.

Simple weight loss strategies

  • Cut the fat, not the flavor. Review your favorite recipes. You probably can cut one-third to one-half the oil, butter, or margarine called for in most dishes with no appreciable change in texture or flavor. Adding more herbs and spices can compensate for any loss of flavor.
  • Eat reasonable portions of healthful foods. A serving of meat the size of a deck of playing cards is about right for lunch and dinner. Restaurant portions are usually two to three times larger than this. A recent study found that women in France frequently eat rich foods and still are thinner than the average American woman. How do they do it? They eat smaller portions.
  • Count beverage calories, too. Most alcoholic drinks are fat-free, but their calories can add up. A 12-oz. light beer has about 90 calories; a 12-oz. regular beer, 146 calories; a gin and tonic, 171 calories; and a wine cooler, 192 calories.
  • Don't assume low-fat foods are low in calories. Different brands of similar products can have surprisingly different amounts of calories and fat. Read and compare labels on food products before you buy.
  • Cook with nonstick cookware and use vegetable-oil spray. Substituting a thin layer of spray for vegetable oil when sautéing saves you 230 calories and 27 grams of fat.
  • Eat regular meals and light, healthful snacks. You're more likely to overeat at mealtime if you don't snack between meals.
  • Eat breakfast. Metabolism—your body's fat-burning potential—drops when you skip the morning meal.
  • Control after-dinner snacking by setting a specific time for a light snack.
  • Make a list of satisfying substitutions for your favorite high-fat foods. For example: A fat-free chocolate-pudding cup instead of a candy bar, a baked apple instead of apple pie, nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream, and a whole-grain bagel instead of a croissant.
  • Devise five to 10 fat- and calorie-cutting strategies that will work for you. Post them on your refrigerator and refer to them often. Some strategies to try: stocking your pantry with low-fat snacks, bringing a low-fat lunch to work instead of dining out, eating fruit for dessert, and drinking water with meals.
  • Start and stick with a regular fitness routine. Find an exercise routine or sport you enjoy and schedule workouts on your weekly calendar. You'll be more likely to continue exercising if you vary your workouts and keep them fun.

Making indoor workouts productive

Many people sink deeper into their easy chairs each winter. Avoid sitting on the sidelines by trying indoor variations of the three kinds of exercise everyone needs.

  • Aerobic exercise: at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
    • Move to your favorite fast music.
    • Invest in an exercise machine, such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stationary bike. To save money, buy a used machine or attach a stand to your regular bicycle to convert it into a stationary one.
    • Climb up and down the stairs in your house or office.
    • Jump rope.
    • Turn housework into an aerobic routine.
  • Strength training: 20-minute workouts three times weekly
    • Try rising from a chair without using your arms to boost leg strength.
    • Work your muscles with stretchy resistance bands.
    • Purchase inexpensive dumbbells even use cans of soup.
  • Flexibility and balance training: 10 minutes every day
    • Take a yoga or tai chi class. Or, if you prefer, learn these techniques from a video or book.
    • Remember to warm your muscles with exercise before stretching.

Weight management options that work

Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals offers a variety of medically supervised non-surgical and surgical weight management programs tailored to each individual.

Center for Weight Management

The Center offers three ongoing programs. The options include: the “Decision Free Diet” which is designed for those who wish to lose more than 30 pounds, “Healthy Solutions” for those seeking moderate weight loss and a less structured program, “Simple Choices.”

Weight loss classes take place at our Shelby Township, Richmond and Chesterfield health centers. For more information, go to or call 1-800-756-9890.

Bariatric Surgery Center

When multiple attempts at weight loss have failed, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery. Patients have access to an experienced, Center of Excellence surgical team at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, as well as expert guidance before and after their procedure right at our Clinton Township hospital.