Many find the thought of beginning an exercise routine or changing their dietary habits a
daunting task. Often, this is due to lacking access to information that will help them know
“where to start”. Utilize the following information to inform your workforce with tips, techniques
and information that will allow your employees to make an informed decision on where and how
to start.

Limit desserts, snacks, and foods high in sugar

These foods increase your calorie intake but don’t give you many nutrients. They also leave you
wanting to eat again after just a couple of hours. The American Heart Association recommends
women consume no more than 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day. Men
should consume no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons) daily. Read labels when you shop.
One teaspoon of sugar is about 4.5 gra ms. Eat healthier desserts, such as baked fruit rather than a
slice of chocolate cream pie. Drink water, unsweetened tea, or 100%-fruit juice instead of a soft
drink. If you get hungry and feel you need to eat between meals, choose healthy snacks (fresh fruit,
raw vegetables, or low-fat yogurt).

Don’t skip meals

It can lead to binge eating later on. While you need to watch what you eat, this does not mean you
skip meals or go on a liquid diet. If you skip meals, you are more likely to snack. Most snack foods
are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, and low in nutrients. Eat regular meals that are low-calorie.

Eat a good breakfast and a moderate dinner, and avoid late night snacks

Eating regular meals – especially breakfast – every day is a good health habit. Morning meals satisfy
hunger better and seem to reduce overindulgence throughout the whole day. Start each day off
right with a good breakfast (for example, whole-grain cereal and/or toast, low-fat milk or yogurt,
fruit, and nuts or peanut butter on the toast). And try to not eat any food after 7 p.m. Studies have
shown that late-night dining contributes to weight gain.

Be physically active – 30-90 minutes daily

You’ve heard it before…physical movement is key to weight loss and fitness. Exercise for at least 30
minutes daily; or 45‑90 minutes daily for better results. If you’re not used to exercising, start out
with 10 minutes.

Get adequate rest, and keep stress manageable

Working toward weight loss can be very stressful. One way to keep stress manageable is to take time to relax for a few minutes daily. Another is to get 7-9 hours of sleep each day. Sleep restores the body’s physical and mental energy reserves. Exercise also relieves stress. When you feel your muscles tense up, go for a walk around the block.

Enlist the help of family, friends, and a support group

Your choice to change your lifestyle will have a significant impact on your family and friends. In most cases, they will support you. A few may feel threatened by your weight loss plans. Don’t preach, brag, or criticize them. Be as patient and caring with them as you would like them to be with you.