According to the Boston Medical Center (1), approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year spending about $33 billion. About 90% of people who go on a diet eventually regain nearly all of the weight back (2). These statistics underscore how far we are from reversing the obesity epidemic spreading across the Western world. Sadly, dozens of fad diet plans are sold to us as the best and fastest approach to losing weight. Many of these diets involve eliminating foods that contain necessary nutrients that your body needs to maintain good health.
The good news is that there is now an abundance of research to help us distinguish between unhealthy short cuts and long-lasting results. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, here are a few keys to healthy weight (3):
1) Eat a plant-based diet. Eating a high fiber prevents cravings and promotes a healthy digestive system and weight loss. Aim for 40 grams of fiber a day, which is easy to do when you move vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans to the center of your plate.
2) Adequate sleep promotes a healthy metabolism. Sleep-deprived people tend to eat more than people who are well-rested.
3) Drinking lots of water boosts metabolism and helps digestion.
4) Plan ahead before shopping. Develop a healthy meal plan and stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy options.
May you enjoy abundant health,
Rick Christman, MPH