client handout Expert tips on maintaining health and fitness Eating for Weight Loss xercise is one important part of losing weight. Eating nutritious foods is another. Cathy Leman, RD, LD, owner of NutriFit, a nutrition consulting and in-home personal training business in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, offers these suggestions to help you make healthy food choices that will support your weight loss efforts. E 1 If you include red meat in your diet, make sure you select lean cuts such as sirloin or round and ensure they are trimmed of excess fat. If you eat poultry, choose white meat without the skin. Use low-fat cooking methods such as grilling, broiling or baking versus deep frying. 4 Choose Low-Fat Meats. A third strategy is to make the healthiest choices possible 80 percent of the time. This goal gives you permission to include all foods in your diet. You'll benefit from variety, while reducing feelings of deprivation. 8 Practice the 80/20 Rule. Keep a Food Log. If your goal is weight loss, it's important to first get a realistic picture of how much and which foods you are eating. You may be underestimating or overestimating food intake. Write down everything you eat and drink for a week or two. Then examine the log to see what changes you need to make to eat more healthfully. Don't shortchange yourself by skipping foods that are good carbohydrate sources. Foods such as pasta, rice and bread are naturally low in fat, provide the body's preferred source of fuel and typically contain a healthy dose of B vitamins. Include wholegrain choices such as brown rice and 100-percent whole wheat products for additional nutrients and to increase your fiber intake. If, after examining your food log, you want to eat more healthfully, how do you begin? It's easiest to focus on making small changes over time. Perhaps begin by reducing portion sizes. Serve meals in smaller dishes such as dinner off the smaller lunch plate, pasta in the smaller cereal bowl and salad in the larger pasta bowl. 5 Eat Healthy Carbohydrates. When planning snacks and meals, try to get more nutritional bang for the calories buck. For instance, 10 Gummy Bears have 85 calories and no fat--yet they also have no fiber and no vitamins and minerals. By comparison, 1 cup of raw, sweet cherries has the same amount of calories, plus 2.69 grams of fiber, 17.55 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 262.08 mg of potassium, 250 mg of vitamin A and many more vitamins and minerals. 9 Focus on Nutrient Density. Are fruits and vegetables prominent in your log? These foods are naturally low in fat and a great source of fiber. Because fiber creates a feeling of fullness without adding calories, you'll eat less and get a natural source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vegetables. 2 Stock Up on Fruits and 6 Reduce Portion Sizes. 10 It's tempting to lump foods Avoid Good/Bad Food Thinking. into "good" and "bad" categories. While some foods such as nuts and avocados may be high in fat, they are also full of nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet in small amounts. Try to focus on the big picture rather than dissecting your diet on a foodby-food basis.