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Over two-thirds of all adults in the United States are classified as either overweight or obese. That breaks down to 64 percent of all women and 72 percent of all men.
People become overweight when they take in more energy (calories) than they burn. Despite years of research and many false claims, the tried and true method to get rid of excess weight continues to be diet and exercise.
If you’ve tried any weight loss diet, you know it’s a lot easier for most of us to put on weight than it is to take it off. Millions of people looking for the easy way to get rid of excess pounds get taken by fad weight loss diets that charge too much and accomplish too little.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association or ADA) offers these suggestions to avoid falling for fads that are probably too good to be true:
• Too Fast
Healthy weight loss doesn’t happen in a hurry. Aim to lose half a pound to one pound each week.
It may sound good to be allowed to eat as much as you want, but not if it’s the same thing over and over again, like the cabbage soup diet. Also, avoid diets that eliminate entire groups of foods.
Your body needs nutrients from every food group to remain healthy and vitamin pills can’t take the place of nutritious food.
• Food combinations
There is no credible research showing that eating certain foods at the same time can cause you to either gain or lose weight.
• No exercise required
Diets that claim you don’t need to exercise are eliminating a valuable tool to help you lose weight. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn and the better your overall health will be.
For long term weight control, you need to learn to control your portions and recognize which foods are your friends on the path to a healthy weight. There are many tools available online to help you calculate food calories and track your progress including the US Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker.