Losing weight is a common New Year’s resolution. As we all know, losing weight is a combination of reducing your calories while you up your exercise regimen. How are you going to manage your food intake to make sure you reduce your calories the right amount?

It’s not an easy question to answer. There are lots of different methods for managing your food intake. If you want to meet your goal of losing weight, you’re going to face the issue of how you regulate your food intake. Some people get by on appetite to regulate their food intake, but this doesn’t work for most people.

Let’s start with the easiest method available to everyone. Let’s call it the “Self-Control Method.” You know the difference between good foods and bad foods. You know how much is too much or too little. Through your own daily choices and self-control, you’re going to eat better and lose weight. This means you’re going to eat less of the bad foods and replace them with good foods and eat enough to lose weight slowly. Your appetite and willpower are your guide.

Next, let’s explore the “Food Elimination” method. With this method, you decide which groups of food you’re going to eliminate from your diet, so you lose weight. For example, eliminating candy from your diet will reduce the amount of sugar you eat. Not eating desserts or drinking alcohol will lower your caloric intake. Cutting out red meat will reduce the fat calories in your diet. Removing bad food categories from your diet reduces calories from your diet and you lose weight. This method also assumes you are adding in healthier foods like fruits and vegetables so your body gets better nutrition.

Next is “Portion Control Lite.” You get a handle on the amount of food you’re eating by learning basic portion control. You look at food packaging and check caloric amounts as well as how much protein, fat and sugar a food contains. You do some basic measuring occasionally to get a handle on how much food you’re eating. Discoveries such as how much pasta you’re eating can lead to positive discoveries.

The next method of food intake management is “Portion Control.” You weigh and measure your food intake daily, so you know how many calories and macronutrients you are taking in. You record your daily eating, so you know what you need to change and modify to eat the right amount of the right foods to lose weight.

The last method is “Packaged Foods.” You purchase packaged foods that regulate your calories and macronutrients for you.  Commercial diet programs often rely on packaged foods to regulate your diet. You purchase meals and eat the diet company’s prepared and packaged foods. A simpler version of this is purchasing packaged meals at the grocery store. You don’t eat every meal as a packaged meal but eat enough packaged meals to reduce your calories to lose weight.

How are you going to regulate your food intake to meet your weight loss goal this year?