The Best Diet for Weight Loss

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We’re a society that tends to love quick fixes.  Even though you know deep down that a diet promising you’ll “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” is too good to be true, it’s still tempting to try.  When your hard work doesn’t show immediate results on the scale, it’s easy to get discouraged.  But what’s worse:  losing a bunch of weight quickly, only to gain it all back?  Or losing weight slowly in a healthy way that’s going to help you keep it off for good?  A new study validates the idea that those who succeed in keeping the weight off do it by eating less and exercising more.  
The study, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, looked at data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Researchers identified 4,000 people over a 5-year period that had been obese for at least a year before participating in the study.  63% had tried to lose weight within the past year.  They used a variety of techniques, including popular diets, weight loss drugs and traditional calorie counting.   Of those who attempted to lose weight, 41% were able to shed at least 5% of their body weight (which can have a positive impact on health) and 20% were able to lose at least 10% of their body weight. 
Among those who lost the most weight, there were trends as to what helped them reach their goals.  Some of the highlights include:
  • 65% ate less food
  • 44% ate less fat
  • 41% switched to lower calorie foods
“Here’s what the dieters tried that didn’t work:
  • 14% ate “diet foods or products”
  • 10% used nonprescription diet pills, including herbal remedies
  • 7% adopted a “liquid-diet formula.”
Those dieters who had the most success also said that joining a weight loss program and having that additional structure was helpful in their progress.  Did you know that the encouragement you need is right at your fingertips?  One of the reasons I love SparkPeople so much is that we’re not about quick-fixes.  This study reinforces what we’ve known all along:  there’s no big secret to successful weight loss.  The key is eating less and moving more.  And while you’re working toward your goals, you have the support of our Community to help cheer for your accomplishments and pick you back up when you’ve had a bad day. 
What do you think?  If you’ve successfully lost weight and kept it off, do you agree with the conclusions of this study? 

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