It is that time of the year where the next greatest diet appears on the book shelves. Diets abound and often they are complex and not based on science. Our goal is to help you get evidenced based strategies to help you to improve your waistline and more importantly your health.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association ( January 2010) confirmed the prevalence of obesity in the United States is ~ 33%. This is defined as a BMI of greater than 30. The more disturbing statistic is when obesity and overweight (BMI > 25) are combined, the prevalence is 68%. So despite the newest dietary wonder, diet, supplement or fitness program our waistlines are growing.

Complex Diets Don't Always Work

The complexity of the diet can also be a barrier to your success. Research from Indiana University revealed that the more complex the diet is the less likely you are to be successful.

So the question is, does simple work? In our experience, the answer is yes.

5 Simple Guidelines for Weight Loss

1. Eat Breakfast

Best choices include whole grain cereal, fruit and a source of protein such as low fat yogurt.

2. Don’t Skip Meals

Hunger catches up with you as the day goes on. When you allow yourself to get “too hungry” most people don’t grab a chicken breast or a glass of skim milk.

3. Pump Up The Volume

Our bodies have the ability to sense volume but not calories. So capitalize on this. Eat more fruits and vegetables and broth based soups such as vegetable soup.

4. Minimize Liquid Calories

No soft drinks, lemonade, fruit punches. Skim milk is allowable and juice should be limited to 4 ounces per day. Keep in mind that alcohol is a liquid calorie.

5. Make Better Choices When You Eat Out

Steer clear of value meals and fried food. Even fast food restaurants DO have fruits and vegetables but you have to change your ordering patterns.

A Simple Meal Plan to Get Started

Meal

Ingredients

Breakfast

1 packet of instant oatmeal or 1 cup of low sugar breakfast cereal 8 ounces of skim/low fat milk or 1 carton of low fat, sugar free yogurt

Morning Snack

1 piece of fresh fruit

Lunch

4-6 oz of lean protein. 4 oz is about the size of the of your hand. Men should strive for 6 oz of lean protein, unlimited amounts of steamed vegetables or salad with reduced fat dressing. This can help to fill you up and add needed fiber. If you would prefer a sandwich, choose whole wheat bread and only lean meat such as turkey, lean ham or roast beef. Avoid mayonnaise.

Afternoon Snack

Air popped popcorn. 100 calorie packs work well. A piece of fresh fruit would also be a great choice.

Dinner

Repeat of lunch. Consider starting the meal with vegetable soup or a large salad with low fat dressing. No eating within 3 hours of bedtime.

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