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How To Lose Weight

Plan of Action

To adopt a diet that is low in unhealthy fats, you need a plan of action. You should set goals for yourself and then decide on the changes you can make in order to meet those goals.

The National Cholesterol Education Program developed the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes program, which includes a healthy diet, and the American Heart Association has adopted these guidelines.

Nutritional Composition of TLC Diet


Recommended Intake (as Percent of Total Calories)
Total fat 25-35%
Saturated fat Less than 7%
Polyunsaturated fat Up to 10%
Monounsaturated fat
Up to 20%
Trans fat Keep it low (AHA recommends less than 1%)
Cholesterol Less than 200 mg per day
Carbohydrates 50-60%
Fiber 20-30 g per day (soluble and insoluble)
Protein Approximately 15%


The guidelines recommend that you eat 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories as fat. But what does that mean? Well, first of all, you need to know your daily calorie requirements. How many calories your body needs each day largely depends on your gender, age, and level of activity.

For the most part, men require more calories than women to maintain their weight. And the more active you are, the more energy, or calories, your body needs to fuel that activity. Fewer calories are needed as people grow older, which is due primarily to the lower level of activity typically found among older people.

The next page tells you how many calories you need, according to age, gender and activity level.

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.
  • Choosing a Diet Program: To choose a diet program, you'll want to find one that's healthy and that fits in your lifestyle. Learn what to ask to find the one for you.
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.