What Really Works for Weight Loss

You don't have to pop a pill, drink a shake, or apply some mysterious cream to keep the pounds off. In my many years of medical practice, I've found that eating right is always the key to lasting success. So here are six secrets that make it easy for you to diet smart, not hard.

Posted on | Mike Roizen, MD | Comments ()

You don't have to pop a pill, drink a shake, or apply some mysterious cream to keep the pounds off. In my many years of medical practice, I've found that eating right is always the key to lasting success. So here are six secrets that make it easy for you to diet smart, not hard. 

These six key steps will help you attain your goal weight and whittle down your waist forever – at least, they’ve done so for 70% of the people I coach who email me and my team daily. And you’ll stay healthy, too. 

1. Have food with a little fat in it 30 minutes before your meal. Eat 70 calories-worth of a healthy fat, like six omega-3-rich walnuts, ground flax seed or a small amount of salmon burger. In a pinch, you can snack on 20 peanuts, 12 almonds or a teaspoon of peanut butter or olive oil. Food with a little fat keeps your stomach from emptying, stimulates your vagus nerve, and suppresses grehlin, the hunger hormone your stomach produces. With a small amount of fat in your stomach, you won’t eat ravenously when it’s mealtime. 

2. Get 10,000 steps a day. Physical activity is key to maintaining weight loss. Can’t take five steps without pain? Take two steps 5,000 times. That’s how important this is for you. We think it reduces type 2 diabetes (and it’s 10,000 steps – not 9,000 steps – that does it) and increases glucose or sugar uptake from your blood into your cells, helping keep your waist thin and your weight loss progressing. Buy two excellent pedometers – one to use and one so that if you lose the first, you won’t have an excuse to stop short of your goal. Set your pedometer when you wake up and do not stop walking or stepping until it hits 10,000. You must accomplish 10,000 steps a day, every day, no ifs, ands or buts. 

3. Get a buddy. You need a friend who is on this journey with you. A friend can support you and act as a sounding board when you face challenges and frustrations – and as a cheerleader when you succeed. Telling a buddy what your aims are helps you meet those aims.

4. Avoid the five food felons. Those felons are saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, syrups and any grains that aren’t 100% whole. Yes, you probably have to clean the junk out of your cupboards and shop carefully at first. But after five weeks, buying healthy foods will be second nature. 

5. Automate eating. That means that you should often consume a small number of foods you love to eat. They must be easy for you to obtain or prepare, and healthy. You should eat them for each meal, alternating, say, between steel cut oatmeal, a wholesome cereal and an egg white veggie omelet (no cheese) for breakfast. This takes the stress and guesswork out of healthy eating.

6. Show some resistance. Building muscle is key to burning calories and losing weight. Learn from a trainer how to do the YOU: The Owner’s Manual resistance exercises, or just do the YOU: On a Diet exercises (using your body as your gym). It only takes 20 minutes, three times a week. 

Check out part-two of this blog for more tips.

Blog written by Mike Roizen, MD
Dr. Roizen is a past chair of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee and a former editor for 6 medical journals with...