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What’s the Best Way to Lose Weight?

alancleaver, Flickr

Thinking of trying the latest fad diet or trendy supplements to lose weight? Don’t bother. A new study finds what most of us already knew: those things almost never work in the long term.

So what does work? Eating less, exercising more, joining weight-loss support groups, and talking to your doctor about prescription diet medications.

In a study of 4,000 obese people, researchers found those who exercised more and ate less fat lost more weight, and participants who joined commercial weight loss programs like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig were more likely to have lost 10 percent or more of their body weight. The small number of people who used prescription diet medications also lost weight.

While doctors stress that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another, they say the study shores up previous research showing the tried-and-true methods for weight loss are the most successful.

Connie Diekman, RD, the director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “The fact that the most commonly used techniques for losing weight were changes in behaviors, not special products or diets, gives inspiration to others who want to lose weight but feel they need something special to do that.”


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