What’s the BEST way to lose weight…and KEEP it off?
Consumer Reports was able to identify six key behaviors that lead to weight loss, or kept thin people thin…they are:
Of all the eating behaviors they asked about, carefully controlling portion size at each meal correlated most strongly with having a lower BMI. Successful losers — even those who were still overweight — were especially likely (62 percent) to report practicing portion control at least five days per week. So did 57 percent of the always thin, but only 42 percent of failed dieters.
Specifically, that means restricting fat to less than one-third of daily calorie intake. Fifty-three percent of successful losers and 47 percent of the always thin said they did that five or more days a week, compared with just 35 percent of failed dieters.
Eat fruits and vegetables
The more days that respondents ate five or more servings of fruits or vegetables, the lower their average BMI score. Forty-nine percent of successful losers and the always thin said they ate that way at least five days a week, while 38 percent of failed dieters did so.
Choose whole grains over refined
People with lower body weights consistently opted for whole-wheat breads, cereals, and other grains over refined (white) grains.
Eat at home
As the number of days per week respondents ate restaurant or take-out meals for dinner increased, so did their weight. Eating at home can save a lot of money, too. See our tips for cooking healthful meals on a budget.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Regular vigorous exercise — the type that increases breathing and heart rate for 30 minutes or longer — was strongly linked to a lower BMI. Although only about one-quarter of respondents said they did strength training at least once a week, that practice was significantly more prevalent among successful losers (32 percent) and always-thin respondents (31 percent) than it was among failed dieters (23 percent).
What didn’t matter?
One weight-loss strategy is conspicuously absent from the list: going low-carb. It turned out that in CR’s survey, limiting carbohydrates was linked to higher BMIs. That doesn’t necessarily mean low-carb plans such as the Atkins or South Beach diets don’t work.
Interesting…and informative! Who wants to go for a run with us?