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11 Dieting Truths That May Surprise You

11 Dieting Truths That May Surprise You

Brie Cadman | Divine Caroline

May 12, 2011

In today’s non-stop media environment, there’s certainly no dearth of tips, advice, and gimmicks for weight loss. Advertisements tell you how to “Lose thirty pounds in thirty days!” TV infomercials claim that you can “Eat what you want and still lose weight!” And magazine headlines claim it’s easy to “Lose one jean size every seven days!”

But anyone who’s tried to lose five, ten, or one hundred pounds can tell you it’s simply not that easy. There’s no magic pill, it doesn’t (usually) happen super fast, and judging from the myriad plans out there, there is no one diet that works for everyone.

Looking past the outrageous claims, there are a few hard truths the diet/food industry isn’t going to tell you, but might just help you take a more realistic approach to sustained weight loss.

1. New nutrition news is often old.

Recently, I read this headline from a news report about a new study: “Fruit Is Even Better for You Than Previously Thought.” I find these kinds of studies somewhat silly—do we really need another reason to eat fruit? Or for that matter, is the nutrition advice from your grandmother or great-grandmother’s generation all that different from what it is today? Chances are they would’ve advised something along the lines of—eat your fruits and vegetables. Point being is that ebbing with trends and tides of “new” research often doesn’t make long-term sense. When fat was labeled as bad, people eschewed even the good stuff from their diets; when carbs went out of style, people took nutritious foods out with the bad. While new research certainly lends insights into what we should eat, common sense often prevails. When in doubt, eat what you know to be healthful foods—unprocessed, unpackaged, and natural.

2. You have to exercise more than you think.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week; this includes things like shoveling snow and gardening. And while this is great for improving heart health and staying active, research indicates that those looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss have to do more—about twice as much.

For instance, members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)—a group of over 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of sixty-six pounds and kept it off for five and a half years—exercise for about an hour, every day.

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