Weight Management Guidelines

Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D.
Director- Sports Medicine Nutrition
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System

Weight Loss Goals

The goal with weight loss is to lose fat, NOT muscle or water

The Body loses fat at a rate of ½-1 pound per week: 250-500 fewer calories per day!

What Are Your Goals?

Weight Loss (Body Fat Loss)

Keep a record for a week to see what your typical eating and drinking pattern looks like
Think about  the number of meals you consume every day
Smaller more frequent meals are best for fat loss

Caloric Goals For Weight Loss - 1 pound of body fat per week

Body weight x 20 = number of calories per day – 250-500 calories for weight loss!

Remember, almost everything has calories, and don’t forget about liquids as calorie sources!

Keep some lower calorie foods around:

  • Fruits
  • Raw vegetables
  • Salsa
  • Light popcorn
  • Frozen fruit bars
  • Popsicles
  • Pudding pops
  • Pretzels
  • Cereal
  • Jello/Yogurt

Super size meals can be your biggest enemy!

Watch the fat intake:

Choose more  Choose less:
Skinless chicken Fried chicken/wings
Baked ham, roast beef Salami, bologna
Mustard Mayonnaise
Mozzarella cheese American cheese
Skim or 1% milk Whole milk
Pretzels/Light popcorn Chips
Frozen yogurt, Light ice cream  Regular ice cream
Turkey bacon or sausage Regular bacon or sausage
Baked or mashed potato Biggie fries
Regular burger Cheese burger

Remember, 2-3  fewer bites per meal can add up to a few hundred calories per day

What Works
Regular meals- NO MEAL SKIPPING:Eating every 3-4 hours, not just one meal a day

Pay attention to portions ( never eat anything bigger than your head!)

Using a smaller glass for beverages, or put a little less food on the plate!

The chew factor- you will feel more satisfied if you chew than drink your meal

Eating a few bites less at every meal

Cutting down on the extra calories:

  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • Sweetened iced tea
  • Sports drinks
  • Mayonnaise
  • Margarine/butter
  • Salad dressings
  • Peanut butter

Knowing what one eats. Not eating in front of the TV, computer, or while playing a video game

When snacking, put some chips in the bowl instead of sitting down with the bag!

Adding Mass

Goals for weight and strength gain should be one-half to 1 pound per week

Be organized about eating- Keep a record to assess what current eating patterns are like

Increase the NUMBER of meals, not just the SIZE of meals

Add fillings and toppings to food- jelly, syrup, mayonnaise, peanut butter

If you do shakes, like Instant Breakfast, consider doubling up- 2 packages to the same amount of milk or juice

Eat more every time you eat

Everything has to count-no freebies with food or beverages!

Choose more often    Choose less often
Granola type cereal Flake cereal
Chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies  Vanilla wafers
2% milk Non-fat milk
Cheeseburger    Plain burger
Nuts   Pretzels
Juice, lemonade, milk, sports drinks  Water

Weight Gain Strategies

To gain 1 pound of muscle a week would require an additional 10-14 grams of protein a day. This would be the equivalent of a chicken drumstick, 2 slices of deli meat, a very small burger, or a 12 ounce glass of milk

Eat before and after you lift!

Weight gain does not require Weight Gainer or other pricey supplements.

Protein shake recipe:

8 ounces of 2% milk mixed with a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, one-half package of dry pudding mix and a banana. (For extra calories, use 2 packets of Instant Breakfast to 8 ounces of milk) with spoonful of chocolate syrup or peanut butter.

Be honest about eating habits. To gain weight eating  must be a priority. NO MEAL SKIPPING! Three meals plus 2-3 snacks EVERY DAY! It is easier to eat more often than it is to eat huge amounts at one meal.

Keep food around during the day:

  • Trail mix
  • Cereal
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips or M&M’s
  • Granola bars
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Sports bars

Increase  portions at each meal and snack. Try for a few more bites at each meal by adding one of the following:

  • Another piece of meat
  • An extra scoop of potatoes, rice or pasta
  • Another slice of bread
  • Some extra cereal
  • 2 glasses of milk instead of one
  • 2 sandwiches instead of one

The goal is to add at least 500-1000 extra calories every day!