Is your New Year's resolution to lose weight? Here are five bad strategies to avoid, according to Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, a family physician, of Loyola University Health System:
Bad strategy No. 1: I'll lose weight at the gym. Working out is good for your health and can help to maintain your weight. But exercise alone is not very effective in shedding pounds. To lose weight, you will need to eat fewer calories.
Bad Strategy No. 2: I'll have to dramatically change my diet. A radical change is not necessary. A more effective strategy is to simply cut back a few hundred calories a day. When going to a restaurant, for example, eat an apple before dinner to dull your appetite, then skip the bread before the main dish arrives. Eat smaller portions and ask for a to-go container.
Bad Strategy No. 3: Weight-loss supplements will make it easier. Supplements burn more muscle than fat. And when you stop taking them, you will gain back more fat than muscle, making you worse off than if you had never taken them in the first place.
Bad Strategy No. 4: I want to be like the Biggest Loser and shed pounds quickly. A more realistic -- and healthy -- strategy is to try to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you cut back 500 calories a day (such as a bagel and cream cheese), you will lose a pound a week. If you cut back just 250 calories a day (one candy bar) you will lose 2 pounds a month. "This will provide the slow-and-steady type of weight loss that will be long-lasting," Dr. Michelfelder said.
Bad Strategy No. 5: I give up. I'll never get down to a normal weight, so why even try? Do not despair if you do not get down to a trim, normal weight (defined as a body mass index of between 18.5 and 24.9). If you are overweight or obese, losing 10 percent of your body weight will improve your appearance and have significant health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of diabetes. Even losing as little as 5 pounds will be good for your joints.
Source: Sciencedaily.com, December 30, 2014.
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