Diet & Weight Loss

Winnsboro Medical Clinic>Nutrition>Diet & Weight Loss

The key to weight loss is calories.  Remember that calories = energy for the body.  We gain calories by eating and we lose calories by doing physical activity.  Think of calories as dollars being deposited and withdrawn from a bank.

Calories IN (food) = Calories OUT (activity)

  • Eating the same number of calories as you spend will result in no weight change.
  • If the calories you take in from food is greater than the amount of calories that you spend at the end of the day, then you will gain weight.
  • However the opposite is also true, if you spend more calories than you take in, then you will lose weight.

You may have heard of so many diets, such as high-protein, low-fat, low-carb, that it makes it confusing to figure out what is the best way to go about losing weight.  Any nutrient – carbohydrate, protein, or fat – will cause weight gain when eaten in excess.  Research has shown that diets that decrease calories from either carbs, protein, or fat will be effective in lowering weight and reducing cardiovascular risk.


  • Try to eat at home more often.  It is easier to control what and how much you are eating.
  • If you do eat out, be aware that food portions are much larger today than in the past.  Share meals or take portions home.
  • Stop drinking soda or other sugar-sweetened drinks.  They provide a lot of calories but little nutritional content.  Drink more water instead.
  • Read Nutrition Labels, even at fast food restaurants to see what you are eating.
  • Be mindful of serving size when it comes to small snacks, because they can add up to big calories.  Small candies that are 60 calories per piece will result in 600 calories consumed with just 10 pieces in a day.

Try to make exercise a part of your regular day.  Exercise is important for maintaining weight loss and has extra benefits for those looking to reduce their diabetic and cardiovascular risk.  Remember, exercise is Calories OUT.  You are not required to maintain an elevated heart rate (cardio workout) like those exercising to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, nor do you need to work out continuously.  Try to include an hour or more of physical activity into your day.  However remember that even though you don’t need to have an elevated heart rate, doing so will increase the amount of calories burned in the same amount of time.

Gradual lifestyle changes in diet, breaking habits, and setting realistic goals is the key to losing weight and maintaining that loss without getting it all back.  Many individuals have become overweight by eating as little as 50 calories too many per day.  Making small changes initially and keeping them will result in weight loss.  Having a dietary plan is a good way to begin organizing and monitoring your calorie intake.  Refer to these eating plans for a start: