Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Weight Control
The latest on what works for weight loss
Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, nutrition and health education specialist, Barton County, University of Missouri Extension
New research led by the Harvard School of Public Health concludes that the best way to lose weight and maintain weight loss is by decreasing calories and increasing activity.
In recent years there has been a debate about whether it’s best to choose low fat, low carbohydrate, high protein or a combination of these choices. In this latest research funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 811 participants were placed on four different combinations of the above diet types that all contained healthy fats and were high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low in cholesterol. The participants were asked to decrease their calorie intake by 750 calories per day and exercise an hour and a half per week.
All of the groups ended up with similar results - a decrease in waist measurement and a decrease in weight. The average loss was 13 pounds in six months. After two years, the average weight loss was nine pounds.
The real key is in decreasing calories and increasing physical activity, and maintaining those healthy habits for the rest of your life. It’s important to find ways to decrease calories in ways that don’t make you feel deprived.
Try these calorie savers:
- Choose fat free instead of whole milk. You’ll save 213 calories if you drink the recommended three cups per day.
- If you drink soda, choose the sugar-free type. A 20 ounce bottle of regular soda has around 250 calories; the sugar-free bottle has less than 10 calories.
- Choose a vegetable pizza (190 calories per slice) on thin crust rather than an all meat pizza on deep dish crust (470 calories per slice). If you eat three slices of a medium pizza you would save 840 calories! If you can’t do without the meat, choose a lean meat like Canadian bacon or chicken for similar calorie savings.
- At the fast food restaurant choose the small burger (280 calories) and small fries (210 calories) instead of the large burger (590 calories) and medium fries (450 calories) for a savings of 550 calories.
Choosing smaller portions or lower calorie versions of your favorite foods can be a great start in reducing calories without making you feel like you are missing out on the things that you enjoy. A great way to get that 90 minutes of exercise is a good brisk walk most days of the week.
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009