While one of the most popular New Year's resolutions each year is losing weight, local nutrition experts say one of the best ways to fulfill such a resolution may be to skip dieting altogether.
That's because the type of fad diets usually employed to reach New Year's goals often lead to short-term weight loss, but rarely sustained positive results.
“Slow and steady really does win the race when it comes to reaching and maintaining your ideal weight,” said Amanda Jones, a registered dietitian at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.
Jones said those interested in shedding excess pounds should strive to make small, consistent changes over time, like cutting back on calories and increasing exercise.
The dietitian recommends people try to lose 1 pound per week. This can be accomplished by eating 500 fewer calories each day or burning an extra 500 calories each day through exercise. The extra 500 calories each day will add up to 3,500 calories in a week — the equivalent of 1 pound.
Jones said the deliberate approach of losing 1 pound a week through better eating and exercise “is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.”
And Jones said a good practice while keeping track of your progress is to avoid the scale.
“In fact, try not to weigh yourself every day,” she said. “Once a week is sufficient to let you know if you are on the right track.”
OU Medicine experts have provided the following tips to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle through exercise and better eating:
Eat a variety of foods every day
• Aim to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
• Choose leaner proteins; more complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruit and vegetables; and more healthy fats like avocados, nuts and olives or olive oil.