It may be tempting to try something exotic and short-term for fast weight loss—an all-kumquat diet, perhaps, or a one-weekend exercise marathon.
But it wouldn't be healthy, and any weight you lost would probably be back in a heartbeat.
It's not new, and it may not be the fad of the moment. But if you want to lose weight, a long-term program of sensible eating and exercise is still the best method around.
A healthy eating plan for weight loss combines fewer calories with better nutrition, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
You can achieve both with a diet that:
• Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
• Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
• Limits saturated fats, trans fat, salt and added sugars.
• Controls portion sizes.
You should aim to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, experts at the NIH recommend. It's both a healthy and realistic goal. For many people, that requires eating 500 to 1,000 fewer calories daily.
One trick that works for many people: Keep a record of everything you eat. It may help you spot problem areas in your diet.
Exercise is good for you in so many ways.
Of course, it helps you manage your weight by burning calories. It also:
• Lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
• Strengthens your lungs and muscles.
• Improves your sleep.
Most adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity spread out over the week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, to lose weight or maintain weight loss, you may need to do more.
Make sure to talk with your doctor if you have questions about how much activity is right for you.
If you have tried to lose weight without success, ask your doctor about weight-loss medication.
Medication isn't a comprehensive solution for weight loss, but it can be effective when paired with diet and exercise plans.
Many weight-loss medications do have side effects, though. So ask your doctor to review the risks and benefits of taking any of these drugs.
Watson Clinic's primary care team - including our Internal Medicine and Family Medicine specialists - can help you achieve your weight goals the healthy way. Call 863-680-7190 to schedule an appointment.
Additional source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics