'Not Rocket Science' Diet Best Way To Lose Weight

PA/The Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: 10/04/2012 11:42 Updated: 10/04/2012 11:42

Forget fad diets - the most effective way to lose weight is by simply eating less fat and taking more exercise, a study has found.

The "not rocket science" weight loss formula achieved results in a large proportion of 2,500 obese Americans.

Forty per cent managed to shed 5% or more of their weight, and 20% lost a tenth or more over a period of 12 months.

Before losing weight, all had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, meeting the clinical definition of obese.

Dr Jacinda Nicklas, from Harvard Medical School, who led the dieting study, said: "This is great news because studies have shown that even a 5% reduction in weight can lead to improved health."

The researchers analysed data from a total of 4,000 obese individuals who took part in a large health and nutrition survey.

Of these, 2,523 reported trying to lose weight.

Writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the authors concluded: "Those who exercised more and ate less fat were significantly more likely to lose weight."

A correlation was also seen between joining a structured weight loss programme and successfully losing weight.

However, self-reported use of "popular diets, liquid diets, non-prescription weight loss pills and diet foods/products" was not associated with weight loss.

Co-author Dr Christina Wee, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, US, said: "It's very encouraging to find that most of the weight loss methods associated with success are accessible and inexpensive.

"There are lots of fad diets out there as well as expensive over-the-counter medications that have not necessarily been proven to be effective, and it is important that Americans discuss product claims with their doctor before trying such products."

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  • Natural Weight Loss Aids

  • Green Tea

    Green tea is rich in the antioxidant called catechin which help speed up metabolism and burn fat quicker. It also contributes towards lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).

  • Pineapple

    Pinapples contain high levels of an enzyme called bromelain that aids digestion and prevents inflammation and swelling in the gut, which can lead to constipation and weight gain.

  • Green Coffee Beans

    Green coffee bean extracts help reduce the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut, as well as insulin levels, which improve metabolic function. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/28/green-coffee-new-weight-loss-food_n_1384970.html?ref=uk-lifestyle" target="_hplink">Read more about the weight-loss benefits of green coffee beans here</a>.

  • Water

    Although drinking water alone won't shift the pounds, drinking a glass of it before you eat will make you eat less and suppress your appetite. It also keep you hydrated throughout the day and will keep hunger pangs at bay, because hunger is mostly driven by dehydration.

  • Eggs

    Having an egg for breakfast keeps you feeling fuller for longer as it acts like a bulking agent in the stomach. It also staves off hunger pangs because the protein prevents the blood sugar level spikes, which lead to food cravings.

  • Grapefruit

    Eating half a grapefruit before each meal or drinking grapefruit juice three times a day helps aid weight loss. The fruit's phytochemicals reduce insulin levels, a process that forces the body to convert calories into energy rather than fat.

  • Beans

    Beans and pulses contain cholecystokinin, a natural appetite suppressant as they stay in the stomach longer. They also help keep blood sugar on an even keel, so you can stave off hunger longer.

  • Cinnamon

    A little bit of cinnamon a day can help control post-meal insulin spikes, which make you feel peckish. A recent study by U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowered the blood sugar and cholesterol levels.