Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How To Lose Weight


Making the Adjustment

Learning to suppress the fat appetite can be challenging, but the availability of naturally low-fat foods and the variety of lower-fat versions of high-fat foods helps make the change to a lower-fat eating style more manageable. Having more low-fat foods at home can make it easier to adhere to this way of eating, too.

If you're used to eating high-fat foods, learning to like foods with less fat could take time -- about 8 to 12 weeks. After this time has passed, however, high-fat foods will most likely not have the same appeal.

The steps you take to approach a new way of eating should be positive ones, because positive steps reinforce new behavior better than negative ones. Rather than thinking, "I can't eat this or that," find foods that you can eat more of, such as raw or cooked vegetables or fruit salad with nonfat or low-fat dressing.

During the transition to low-fat foods, use reduced-fat foods in place of the high-fat versions; this will wean your taste buds off high-fat foods and is a better approach than simply eliminating high-fat foods altogether. Instead of butter or full-fat margarine, mayonnaise, or sour cream, look for reduced-fat or lower-fat versions of these foods; many of them are good quality, tasty replacements. Also look for low-fat or low-calorie cookbooks or healthy recipes on the Internet to help make this new way of eating more of a sensory delight. And don't forget the spices; these are a wonderful, no-fat method to infuse your food with flavor while shifting your dependence away from fat!

If you're a dessert lover, finding satisfying, healthier alternatives is important. Indeed, the sugar-fat blend is considered one of the most compelling of all flavor combinations. However, this food combination may also lead to weight gain, more so than other foods. This is because sugar stimulates the hormone insulin, which promotes the storage of fat when more calories are taken in than the body needs.

Substitute fruit for fruit pie and sugar-free chocolate pudding made with low-fat milk for chocolate cake. If you absolutely must have that cheesecake, take a few bites, savor them, and then walk away from the rest.

Fortunately, you don't have to eliminate fat entirely from your diet. Find out how much you should be eating, along with other dietary guidelines, on the next page.

For more information about losing weight, see:

  • 10 Ways to Eat Healthier: Developing good eating habits is as much about making lifestyle changes as it is learning about food. Get started on the road to better eating.
  • The Facts on Fat: Fat is an essential nutrient, but some forms are more harmful than others. Learn about different types of fat.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

More to Explore