The American Heart Association - Guidelines for Weight Management

Dr Mehmet Oz - Make Half of Every Meal Fruits and Vegetables

The Mayo Clinic - Weight Loss Basics, Strategies and Diet Plans
Weight Loss and Maintenance Planning

A Summary of the Current Recommendations and Guidelines Issued by the Major Health Institutions on Weight Loss or Maintenance.
Contents of Article
 1 - Intro: Seek advice from an RD
 2 - American Heart Association Guidelines
 3 - NHLBI (NHI) The Practical Guide
 4 - Weight Loss Basics by the Mayo Clinic
 5 - Johns Hopkins Nutrition and Weight Control Special Report
 6 - Oprah's Dr Oz : A Very Useful Tip
 7 - ADA on Low-Carb Diets
 8 - Computer Assisted Diet Planning
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Dietary Guidelines:
The Great Fat Controversy
Weight Loss Guidelines Summary.
About very low-fat Diets
Whole Grain Bread Benefits
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hM health improvement NewsWire Links, Read tne full-text articles on weight loss guidelines
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American Heart Association Guidelines for Weight Management Programs - (DR. Oz): Ten Rules to Eating Right, Make Half of Every Meal Fruits and Vegetables
The Mayo clinic - Weight Loss Basics
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The author, Dr Lawrence J. Cheskin, is the director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.
The Complete Food and Nutrion Guide, by the ADA
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Weight Loss and Maintenance Planning - Institutional Views
Weight Loss and Maintenance Recommendations Summary.
Category : Health Care Books and Guides - Weight loss
Harvard Medical School Healthy Solutions to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

By Annaswany Raji M.B.B.S. M.M.Sc.
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Category : Dietary Guidelines for Weight Control written by Medical Authorities
The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight
From Good Books
Reference paper for this section:

The AHA stresses the importance for participants to choose programs that are based on realistic goals for a lifetime. For the AHA, even small weight losses are associated with improvements of cardiovascular risk factors. They indicate that realistic weight loss goals are a critical factor to success. Especially for people with a history of weight cycling, the AHA encourages participants to enroll in professionally supervised weight management programs, they mean programs that are based on realistic weight loss goals.

As to the causes of obesity, the paper points out that although obesity often has a genetic component, the likely cause, for most people, is the imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure, as mentioned above. Weight gain is most of the time a result of an excessive intake of energy derived from food coupled with a low expenditure of energy. The Association recommends that weight loss programs be based on the reduction of energy intake, be based on sound nutrition and on a reasonable increase in the expenditure of energy through a realistic level of physical activity.
Given that fat carries more calories than other nutrients and that saturated fats contribute to the synthesis of LDL-Cholesterol, reducing the intake of fat, especially saturated fat is recommended, and viewed by the American Heart Association as the most important dietary change. To facilitate adherence to the program the paper adds that the changes should be pleasant and acceptable. Physical activity ought also to be pleasant and safe. Of course , the paper recommends that people be screened and evaluated as to their capacity to exercise. Some conditions may make some types of exercise to be contraindicated.

A person’s past weight history should be taken into account. A person who has a long history of overweight and/or who’s family has such a history should not expect to achieve a weight in the low-normal range. It would be unwise to set goals too low to be realistic. The rate at which weight decreases should not be greater than one pound per week. In other words, forget about fast weight loss and favor real and safe weight loss. From time to time, your energy intake may have to be readjusted not to exceed that rate of loss.

The nutritional recommendations would be to have a diet containing:

Finally: "…The most important factor associated with the ability to maintain weight loss may be acceptance of personal responsibility for lifestyle changes.” This is very similar to Kimberly Auvil‘s position in a recent article that appeared in the Boston Globe: "…outside of these parameters, to blame excessive weight gain on anything but our selves is incorrect."
Reference paper for this section:

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is part of The National Health Institutes
Their well researched and free Guide provides, among other things, a useful definition and a handy table for comparing BMIs, here is the classification of the BMI values:

Underweight <18.5 kg/m2
Normal weight 18.5–24.9 kg/m2
Overweight 25–29.9 kg/m2
Obesity (Class 1) 30–34.9 kg/m2
Obesity (Class 2) 35–39.9 kg/m2
Extreme obesity (Class 3) = 40 kg/m2

Again, as was the case with the AHA, gradual weight loss is recommended as opposed to fast weight loss. The NHI suggests aiming at a loss of one to two pounds per week. They recommend, as an initial goal, aiming for a loss of 10% of body weight over a six months period. They too stress that striving for faster and higher rates of weight loss does NOT yield better results on the long term.

The NHI General Guidelines for dietary therapy:
Usually, caloric intake should be reduced by 500 or more calories per day (kcal/day) from the current level, depending on one’s BMI and condition. People should adopt long-term nutritional adjustments to reduce caloric intake. Moderate caloric reduction is advocated. While the diet should be low in calorie, the NHI also warns against the temptation of going too low. According to the NHI, dietary therapy should include instructions for modifying diets to achieve either the weight loss goal or the goal of healthy weight maintenance. Moderate caloric reduction is the goal for the majority of cases; however, diets with greater caloric deficits may have to be used during active weight loss. The NHLBI stresses that while a diet should be lower in calories, but it should never be too low (never less than 800 kcal/day). Usually, 1,000 to 1,200 kcal/day diets would be suitable for most women while a 1,200 kcal/day to 1,600 kcal/day diet would appear to be suitable for most men. On average, caloric reductions of 500 (up to 1,000 kcal/day if and when necessary) will yield an expected weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

The guide mentions, very appropriately, that most patients will find it harder to lose weight after 6 months. This is normal. This is because there are changes that have occurred in resting metabolic rates and that problems with adherence to the program may arise. Energy requirements decrease as a consequence of decreased weight. This should cause an adjustment of both diet and physical activity goals. In order to achieve additional weight loss, caloric intake may have to be decreased a little and the activity level may have to be slightly increased. This type of gradual approach is actually recommended by most medical authorities because they recognize that too fast a loss of weight is almost always followed by a rebound weight gain. This is as if the reputable institution was trying to tell us to ignore all those swanky ads that promise, usually for a high price, any kind of either too fast or unreasonable weight loss rate.

The paper stresses that health professionals should make sure that their educational efforts pay particular attention to the following topics:
1- Energy value of different foods.
2- Food composition—fats, carbohydrates (including dietary fiber), and proteins.
3- Evaluation of nutrition labels to determine caloric content and food composition.
4- New habits of purchasing—give preference to low-calorie foods.
5- Food preparation—avoid adding high-calorie ingredients during cooking (e.g., fats and oils).
6- Avoiding over consumption of high-calorie foods (both high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods).
7- Adequate water intake.
8- Reduction of portion sizes.
9- Limiting alcohol consumption.

The first diet recommended by the NHI is: The Low-Calorie Step One Diet, in which the recommended nutrient intake is:
1- Calories: Approximately 500 to 1,000 kcal/day reduction from usual intake
2- Total fat: 30 percent or less of total calories
3- Saturated fatty acids: 8 to 10 percent of total calories
 Monounsaturated fatty acids Up to 15 percent of total calories
 Polyunsaturated fatty acids Up to 10 percent of total calories
 Cholesterol3 <300 mg/day
4- Protein: Approximately 15 percent of total calories
5- Carbohydrate: 55 percent or more of total calories
6- Sodium chloride No more than 100 mmol/day (approximately 2.4 g of sodium or approximately 6 g of sodium chloride)
6- Calcium: 1,000 to 1,500 mg/day
7- Fiber5 20 to 30 g/day

Recommended activity levels. The NHLBI is appropriately prudent in its recommendations:

Reference source for this section:

The Mayo Clinic also insists on the fact that our weight is a balancing act, and that calories are always part of the overall equation. Heavily advertised diets may promise you that eating a mountain of grapefruit, adding vinegar or using their supposedly "magical" supplement pill will make the pounds drop off. In fact, there are no existing substances that are scientifically or clinically known or proven to "burn" calories. But when it comes to weight loss, it's calories that count. Weight loss really comes down, as usual, to burning more calories that you take in. You can only do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages (watch out for that sugar-laden soda pop), and increasing calories burned through physical activity. Once you understand that equation, you're ready to set your weight-loss goals and make a plan for reaching them. Remember, you don't have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor, dietitian, family and friends for support. Also, plan smart: Anticipate how you'll handle situations that challenge your resolve and the inevitable minor setbacks. If you have serious health problems because of your weight, your doctor may suggest weight-loss surgery or medications for you. In this case, you and your doctor will need to thoroughly discuss the potential benefits and the possible risks.
But don't forget the bottom line: The key to successful weight loss is a commitment to making permanent changes in your diet and exercise habits.
Tipping the scale: Cutting calories

Your weight is a balancing act, but the equation is simple: If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight.
Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Cutting calories doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it can be as simple as:
Skipping one extra high-calorie indulgence a day
Swapping high-calorie foods for lower calorie options
Reducing portion sizes

Try these tips to control portion sizes and cut calories:
"Serve smaller portions. At the beginning of a meal, take slightly less than what you think you'll eat. You can have seconds later if you're truly still hungry.
See what you eat. Eating directly from a container gives you no sense of how much you're eating. Seeing food on a plate or in a bowl keeps you aware of how much you're eating. Consider measuring your food with a measuring cup or scale to see how much you are actually eating.
Check food labels. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts panel and other nutrient information for the serving size and number of calories a serving. You may find that the small bag of chips you eat with lunch every day, for example, is two servings not one, which means you're eating double the calories listed on the label.
Don't feel obligated to clean your plate. Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Those extra bites of food that you're trying not to waste add unneeded calories.
Use a calorie counter. Check out reputable resources that offer tools to count calories, such as Web sites or smart phone applications."

"But how do you know if a diet plan fits your needs and lifestyle? Ask yourself these questions about any diet plan you're considering. Does it:
Include various foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, nuts and seeds?
Include foods you like and that you would enjoy eating for a lifetime — not just for several weeks or months? Feature foods you can easily find in your local grocery store?

Allow you to eat your favorite foods, or better yet, all foods? Fit your lifestyle and budget? Include proper amounts of nutrients and calories to help you lose weight safely and effectively? Encourage regular physical activity? If you answer no to any of these questions, keep looking. There are better diet plans out there for you. "

Reference source for this section:

An ability to alter lifelong attitudes toward diet and exercise may ultimately be the key to successful weight management: You must be motivated enough to change habits not for a few weeks or months, but for a lifetime. The importance of this resolve cannot be underestimated.
The desire to lose weight must come from within. A person who wants to shed 20 lbs. to please a spouse is not likely to be as motivated, or as successful, as someone whose goal is to improve health or increase self-esteem. Choosing the right time to start a weight-loss program is also important. People under stress or pressure may not be able to devote the considerable attention and effort required to make lifestyle changes that lead to weight loss.

Weight-Loss Strategy #1. Set realistic goals
Weight-Loss Strategy #3. Make changes gradually.
Weight-Loss Strategy #4. Eat slowly.
Weight-Loss Strategy #5. Eat three meals a day, plus snacks. Skipping meals is counterproductive, as is severely reducing food intake, since such strict changes are impossible to maintain and are ultimately unhealthy.
Weight-Loss Strategy #10. Don’t try to be perfect.
Reference source:
A very useful tip found in "Top 10 Rules for Eating Right" by David L. Katz, MD in "O, The Oprah Magazine | July 14, 2009" : rule no.2 says:
"Make half of every meal fruits or vegetables." Assuming these are non-starchy vegetables or fruits low in sugar, this would cut down the calories, increase the fiber content, increase the content in vitamins and minerals and help procure a feeling of satiety by making the food stay in the stomach longer. This, of course, automatically controls portion sizes.
Reference source:

The ADA 2009 Recommendations paper reaffirms the Acceptance of Low Carb Diet The ADA remains cautious, however, recommending that people with diabetes who go on low carb diets monitor their lipid profiles and renal function and, if they have nephropathy, watch their protein intake. It may be that low-carb diets are not for every diabetic. A physician even commented: "My understanding is that the ADA's OK of low-carb weight-loss diets applies to people with type 2 diabetes, not type 1. Sorry if this sounds like nit-picking, but I didn't want type 1s to get the wrong idea." In short, if you are thinking of resorting to a low carbohydrate diet, speak with your diabetes specialist, as it may not be suitable to your condition.

 8 - About Computer Assisted Diet and Menu Planning for Weight Loss and Maintenance - a reminder by heartMonitron
1- INTRODUCTION - Seek the Advice of your MD or RD
2 - American Heart Association Guidelines for Weight Management Programs for Healthy adults
3 -The NHLBI, NHI Practical Guide on ...Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults
4 - Weight Loss Basics by the Mayo Clinic
5 - Johns Hopkins Nutrition and Weight Control Special Report - Changing behavior to lose weight
6 - Oprah's Dr Oz : A Very Useful and Practical Dieting Tip
 7 - American Diabetes Association - cautious approval of Low-Carb Diets
Category : Weight Loss Aids
Calorie Smart Calculator
Category : Recipe Software, Editable Low Calorie recipes,
for Weight Control,
Computer Assisted Diet Planning
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The explanations and demos that follow are published for educational purposes. Only your Doctor or Registered Dietitian can provide advice as to your own personal condition.

The present article presents a summary of useful and realistic recommendations made by some of the best and most reputable health institutions on the subject of weight control. None of the fad-diets or "fast" weight loss diets recommendations are covered. We try to stick to guidelines that are manageable in real life and that are based on safe, healthy and balanced nutrition.

A Quick Reminder of Some Important and Useful Nutrition Concepts:

a) For 1 gram of fat, the body derives 9 Calories (Kilocalories),
b) for 1 gram of carbohydrate, the body will derive 4 Calories and
c) for 1 gram of protein, one obtains 4 Calories.
d) "BMI" stands for "Body Mass Index", a ratio that compares your weight relative to your height. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.
e) There exist no magical foods, secrets or devices: in the end, a person's weight is always the result of the balance between caloric intake and caloric expenditure per period of time. i.e. if you absorb, in a day or a week, a few more calories than you actually spend, you will gain a little weight. Conversely, if you absorb a little less calories than you spend, your body will use a bit of the fat reserves and your weight will go down a little.

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A reminder for people who use computer software to modify their recipes for the purpose of losing or controlling their weight and create their own weekly or monthly plans:

1- For your software program to perform a useful and accurate nutritional analysis of your diet, the ingredient information must be exact. If the program doesn't already know about an ingredient you wish to use, take a little time to add into the ingredients list the nutritional values for the brand that you use, the data is available on the nutritional label of the package. You will only have to do this once and only takes a minute. Your computer will remember for years to come and your input values will be exact.
2 - With the help of your MD or RD (registered dietitian) determine what your daily or weekly caloric intake should be. Then, after you have clicked and dragged your selected recipes into your, say daily or weekly plan, click on the appropriate icon to perform the analysis. Compare the results for calories with your goals. You will see immediately whether you are on the right course or not. You may also want to compare the nutritional content (% carb, % and type of fat, protein content ...etc.) with the recommended values so as to make sure that your newly created dietary plan or program for weight loss is indeed balanced, nutritious and healthy. Remember: it's really all about reducing the intake of calories, not the intake of essential nutrients.
the hM NewsWire
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The heartMonitron Journals - Published for Educational Purposes, only your Doctor can provide advice The hM MedJOURNALS contain articles, news and recipes relative to Health Care and Improvement, Nutrition, the Management of Coronary Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, High Cholesterol, weight loss and the Maintenance of a Healthy Weight, including Computer Assisted Diet Planning and Nutrition Analysis - hM strongly recommends using the information in the articles and healthy recipes provided on this website under the professional supervision of your doctor or registered dietitian . Whether you are seeking to improve your general health, reverse heart disease, control diabetes or your weight, always assume that getting professional advice from your MD or RD is best. NGBeditor
Links to full-text articles on the hM NewsWire are provided at the bottom of this page
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Best Weight Loss and Maintenance Planning Guidelines - A Summary
hM Health Care Video Selection: Mary Russell, MS, RN, director of nutrition services at the University of Chicago Medical Center, talks about dieting myths
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