Q: Do I have to count calories or fat grams?
A: No. Counting calories or fat grams can be helpful, but it’s not necessary for everyone.
Most people get tired of counting after a few days or weeks. You can learn a lot about your eating habits by just writing down everything you eat each day on a food diary.
Q: My diets don't succeed because I can’t give up sweets. Can I have low-calorie sweets?
A: Yes, but you have to read food labels to find them.
Look for items with less than 150 calories per serving and do not have a lot of added sugar or sodium. Be sure to check the serving size so you don't eat too much. Reach for things that will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with some nutrients too such as fresh fruit and yogurt.
Low-calorie sweets include angel food cake, fresh fruit, sugar-free gelatin, pudding made with fat-free milk, and frozen fruit juice bars.
One serving of each of these items contains about 150 calories and 0 to 1 gram of saturated fat.
Q: Can I skip meals to save calories?
A: Skipping meals usually doesn't help you eat fewer calories.
When you skip a meal, you’re more likely to get hungry and overeat. It's better to spread your eating evenly through the day and eat smaller meals. In the long run, you’ll probably eat fewer calories with three small meals per day than with one or two large ones.
If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to eat regular meals and snacks. Skipping meals and then overeating will make your blood sugar problems worse.
Q: How often should I weigh myself?
A: Some experts recommend that you weigh yourself once a week. Others say to weigh every day.
We recommend choosing the schedule that works best for you. If you have heart failure, you must check your weight every day to look for sudden changes.
Last reviewed 08/2014