Healthy Living

Lose Weight Without Fad Diets

Lose Weight Without Fad Diets

Key Takeaways

  • Analysis of data showed that those participants who ate less of fat and exercised more lost more weight

According to a new study published in, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, eating less fat, getting more exercise, and discussing a weight loss plan with a doctor is the most effective way to lose weight. This study focused on the methods followed by successful dieters to lose the extra weight and keep it off even after the regimen was over.

Jacinda M. Nicklas, MD, MPH, researcher and clinical research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, claims that people lose up to 10% of their body weight by following the tried-and-true methods. In this study, the researchers collected data from 4,000 obese people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Out of the total participants, 63% people had tried to lose weight. About 43% of the participants reported to have lost 5% of body weight, while 20% said that they had lost 10% of their weight.

Analysis of data showed that those participants who ate less of fat and exercised more lost more weight. The results showed that those who joined commercial weight loss programs lost about 10% of the extra weight. Only a small proportion of the participants used prescription weight loss drugs, and these medicines were also associated with weight loss. The details of how much exercise or the change in the diet were not mentioned in the study.

Nicklas suggests that people should cut down the calories and not necessarily fat. It is better to increase the exercise, which is better if they join a weight loss program as it improves accountability, she adds.

Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C, says that a successful weight loss method differs from person to person. So the most important step towards weight loss is to work out a method that suits the person. For some people, low-fat diets are suitable, as it includes the food they relish. For somebody else a low-carb diet would be a better option. “Unless and until the plan is individualized, sustaining or maintaining weight loss is difficult”, he adds.

Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, feels that the study supports the view that eating less and exercising more is the best way to lose weight. But the study was based on self-reported information, which may not always be true. The most common method for weight loss was a change in lifestyle and not a particular product or diet. This will give inspiration to others that they need something special to do that. “Another positive outcome of the study is that many obese people were able to lose weight, which many feel is not possible,” says Diekman.