Weight loss isn’t just a way to boost your self-esteem. If you are overweight or obese, it can be a lifesaver, reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other debilitating conditions.
There is a substantial body of research to help dieters drop pounds. Here are a few evidence-based tips to help you succeed at slimming down this season—and beyond.
1. Skip the soda
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if the calories in just one can are added to the typical diet without cutting intake from other sources, one soda per day could lead to weight gain of 15 pounds in just a year.
2. Weigh yourself
A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine suggests that daily weighing may be a helpful way to get slimmer and stay that way. After examining the habits of more than 3000 obese and overweight people enrolled in weight-loss or weight-gain prevention trials, researchers at the University of Minnesota concluded that those who stepped on the scale daily experienced greater success.
3. Move your body
Research shows that few people achieve significant weight loss with exercise alone, which may be surprising. Eating habits need to change, but routinely breaking a sweat still has big long-term health benefits. In fact, a study published in the online journal Obesity found that as little as 80 minutes a week of resistance or aerobic training helps to prevent weight gain and inhibit a regain of harmful visceral fat one year after weight loss. Visceral fat lies under the abdominal muscles and surrounds vital organs. It is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
4. Count calories
A large population-based study leveled the playing field when it comes to the effectiveness of different types of diets. Researchers tracked the success of more than 800 obese and overweight people who embarked on nutritionally sound weight-loss regimens. According to the findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it didn’t matter if the diets emphasized protein, fat or carbohydrates. Calorie reduction was the key to success.
5. Practice portion control
Downsize your dishes to help ditch super-sized meals. Researchers at Cornell University published a study suggesting that those who are trying to lose weight may have greater success when using smaller plates. Doing so might help you cut down on portion sizes without actually having to weigh and measure everything you eat.
Start small to lose big
Setting aggressive weight loss goals could set you up for frustration and failure. Instead start by aiming to lose a reasonable amount of weight that you can safely keep off. Here’s how:
- Create small rewards
- Talk to yourself positively
- Take photos of your progress
- Find role models
- Make exercise fun
If you are serious about slimming down, our nutritionists, dietitians and metabolic experts can help. Scripps Clinic Center for Weight Management and Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine both have medically supervised programs to help you reduce your waistline and improve your health.
If you would like to learn more about the weight loss programs at Scripps or need a referral to doctor, call 1-800-SCRIPPS (800-727-4777).
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