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Way to Lose Weight, According to Doctors

by Alexa

The #1 way to lose weight according to doctors isn’t a mystery, but it is hard for many of us to sustain, which is why most search for a medical weight loss program  to support their ongoing needs. For all we’ve learned about the science of losing weight—perhaps most importantly, that low-fat and super-low-calorie diets don’t work—more Americans are overweight or obese than ever. Further complicating matters: Recent studies have found that when we lose weight, our bodies actually try to hang on to fat. When pounds drop off rapidly, metabolism slows down in an attempt to keep things stable.

Exercise Regularly … With Caution

All of us should exercise daily for health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise—such as brisk walking—per week. But exercising for weight loss is tricky. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and exercise can make you hungry, which can lead to taking in more calories. However, building muscle via resistance exercise can boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. So experts recommend exercising most days of the week with at least two strength-training workouts weekly. Just be realistic about its effects and make it part of a weight-loss regimen, not your whole plan.

Eat More Vegetables

Vegetables are high in fiber, which is extremely satiating. When you’re satisfied, you’ll eat less. “Non-starchy vegetables really fill you up,” says JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of preventive medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, salad greens and mushrooms. (Starchy vegetables, like potatoes, peas and corn, may be less effective because starch is converted in the body to sugar.) Experts recommend allotting at least half your plate to vegetables at every meal. 

Eat Less Sugar

To lose weight, doctors agree that it’s essential to consume less added sugar. Sugary drinks and foods cause blood sugar to spike and crash, causing cravings for more sugar and the consumption of more calories. Choose foods with as little added sugar as possible, and take sugar-laden drinks like soda off your menu ASAP. “Avoid all sugary drinks, as they provide ’empty calories’ that don’t fill you up. The sugar may uniquely act on the liver to produce belly fat,” Dean Schillinger, MD, chief of the University of California, San Francisco Division of General Internal Medicine, told Time magazine.

Eat More Whole Foods

Most of the standard American diet—its apt acronym is SAD—involves processed foods that are stripped of nutrients and high in sugar and sodium. Generally, they’re not satisfying, which causes you to take in more calories. “A high-quality diet will almost automatically lead to better calorie control—you’re going to be eating foods with higher satiety,” says Manson. “A high-quality eating plan is something like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, while being low in red meat, processed meats and processed foods.”

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