I've gained weight since starting at WPI. What can I do to lose that weight?

Many people assume dieting is the answer to losing weight; however, dieting for weight loss is usually counterproductive.

Restricting your food intake can make you want/crave and think about food more often, ultimately leading to unhealthy behaviors.

If dieting isn’t the answer, what is?

  • Make sure you are eating enough fruits and veggies. Are you eating 2 or more pieces of fruit (or cups of fruit) daily? Are you eating enough vegetables? Most people need about 3 cups of veggies daily (more if salad is your favorite veggie source). If you are not getting enough of these fiber- and nutrient-rich foods, work on adding more of them to your diet. Eventually, they’ll start taking the place of less healthy foods like chips, cookies, muffins, etc.
  • Are you getting 3 servings a day of dairy/dairy alternative foods? Many people get more than 3 servings a day between milk, cream, yogurt, cheeses, ice cream, pudding, etc. Consuming too much or not enough of these foods will affect your metabolism—if you are currently getting more or less than the 3-a-day suggestion, work on getting to the 3 servings.
  • If you are eating all of the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies and getting 3 daily servings of dairy but are still gaining weight, you may be eating more protein and/or carbohydrates than your body needs. If this is the case, it is recommended to decrease intake by no more than 200 calories every few weeks. If you cut off the carbs and the protein too fast, the way many fad diets suggest, your body will sense deprivation.

Eating and weight is an emotional, medical, and social issue. There is a lot of misinformation out there. If you want specific help with your situation, make an appointment with WPI’s registered dietitian, Shavaun Cloran. Losing weight is not easy, so be kind to yourself and work to make small changes that you can sustain over time.