Nutrition News: Winning at Weight Loss and Beyond

What’s the best diet to lose weight? The June 2007 issue of Consumer Reports magazine rates eight popular weight loss diets for nutritional quality, ease of use, and expert evaluation. Three that scored well included “The Volumetrics Eating Plan”, “Weight Watchers” and “Jenny Craig.”

But that’s not the whole story, according to James O. Hill, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Denver. He was a featured speaker at a recent nutrition symposium I attended in this fair (except for the snow storm the first day!) city.

“All diets work, but if you can’t keep the weight off…it doesn’t work,” says Dr. Hill, who heads up the National Weight Control Registry that tracks the habits of successful weight “losers” who have lost weight and kept it off for five or more years.

To keep the pounds from piling on, Dr. Hill recommends small changes over the long term. Here are his winning strategies:

· Buy a pedometer (“You can get a basic one that works well for five bucks,” says Hill.)

· Count your daily steps for 2 to 3 days to get your “baseline” activity level.

· Increase your baseline walking steps by an additional 2000 steps a day. That’s equivalent to an extra mile of walking that burns about 100 calories.

· Find a way to cut out 100 to 150 calories from your daily diet. (Cut out one can of regular soda or eat 10 fewer potato chips, for example.)

These small steps would stop the runaway weight gain we see in our population, says Hill. And if we can stop this freight train of weight gain, then maybe we can turn it around…

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