Weight Management: The Basics

What lifestyle changes are important for weight loss? What steps can you take to make the ones you need to make? Lifestyle changes are strategies that you can use to make it easier to decrease your food intake and increase your physical activity.


If you've ever kept a food diary, then you have self-monitored. Self-monitoring is recording information about yourself so you become aware of:

  • how much food you are eating
  • how physically active you are
  • your attitudes about food and activity and how they may need to change.
  • the positive steps you are taking to control your eating and become more active.
  • your trouble spots and their possible causes.
Download the food and physical activity diary.

Manage Stress

Everyone feels stressed at times because stress is a normal part of life. Stress is an emotional or physical strain you feel when you struggle to meet the demands in life. It can be caused by negative events such as illness, divorce, loss of a job or by positive events such as the birth of a baby or starting a new job.

It is also one of the major reasons people cite as contributing to their overeating (overeating can lead to weight gain, which in itself can be stressful!).

Everyone reacts differently when stressed. Common physical symptoms include tight muscles in the face, neck and shoulders, a racing heart, the desire to eat, a headache or stomach ache. Your personal symptoms will be a clue that you may be stressed and need to take some action.

We have assembled some stress management techniques that may help you to address stress in your life.

Problem Solve

When you problem solve, you:

  1. identify problems or challenge that threaten to undermine your success.
  2. take steps that will resolve these problems without the use of food, if possible.
Problem solving is a skill that can be learned and appears to be one of the top three strategies for long-term weight maintenance. Find out more about the problem solving process.

Manage Your Environment

This strategy is a matter of simple addition or subtraction: you add or take away things to make it easier to control your eating and ensure that you are active. Here are some steps you can take to establish control over your environment.

Control Mood Eating

Feelings are part of life. Everyone has them. However, some people have difficulty dealing with certain feelings such as anger, sadness, and happiness. They use food to soothe, comfort or tranquilize themselves whenever they experience such emotions. Feelings are not the issue. How they are managed is.

Controlling mood eating means dealing with your uncomfortable feelings without the use of food, if possible. Try these strategies to help deal with mood eating.

Control Binge Eating

A binge is eating a large quantity of food in a short period of time and feeling out of control as you eat. It is difficult to say what amount of food needs to be eaten to qualify as an eating binge. What is considered an eating binge by a gymnast and a football player may be very different things.

Here are some suggestions for controlling binge eating.

Obtain Support

It is easier (though not impossible) to succeed when the people in your life support your weight management efforts. However, some people, sometimes referred to as saboteurs, may be less than supportive.

Find out more.

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