Make your plan for losing weight in 2018

Losing weight doesn’t have to mean daily trips to the gym and a strict calorie allotment. Sometimes what you need is to simply create healthy, sustainable changes in your daily life.

Dr. Nabil Tariq, bariatric surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates, helps patients discover new ways to lose weight and keep it off. “With the right plan and support, you can make changes to improve your health,” Tariq said.

Here are five small steps to help with weight loss:

  • EAT SLOWLY. Eat your meals more slowly and without distraction, such as watching TV.
  • WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZE. Trick yourself into easy portion control by using smaller plates, bowls and silverware, making it appear as though you’re eating more than you actually are.
  • EMPHASIZE PROTEIN AND FIBER. Reaching for protein or fiber-filled foods, like chicken or apples, can help you feel satisfied for longer than with other foods.
  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. It’s calorie-free and helps you feel full so you’ll eat less but don’t skip meals.
  • ADD MOVEMENT TO YOUR DAY. Physical activity burns calories and boosts your mood. If you’ve never exercised before, start slow.

“If diet and exercise alone haven’t resulted in permanent weight loss, you may benefit from weight management services,” Tariq said. Houston Methodist offers several weight-loss surgery options, including gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures, to patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.

“Weight-loss surgery is a powerful tool,” Tariq said. “However surgery alone can’t do it all. Patients still need to make healthy lifestyle changes to succeed long term. We can help them do that.”

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