"The term 'dieting' brings to mind deprivation, starvation, being miserable and uncomfortable and ultimately failing in weight loss efforts," Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist who is familiar with the study, said.
Burning more calories than you consume is how your body loses weight, she said. "However, severe calorie restriction, diet fads, pills and potions, detox cleanses and other quacky approaches to weight loss only contribute to people's diet failures and, in fact, may increase the likelihood of regaining even more weight than what was lost -- if any," Heller added.
The best way to drop unwanted pounds is to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors that include eating a variety of healthy foods, physical activity, patience and a game plan, she said.
"Many people want to lose weight and do not know how to begin. Creating a step-by-step plan is one piece of the puzzle a lot of people forgo," Heller said.
Starting a weight-loss program takes discipline, motivation and a desire to make behavioral changes and finding support can be very helpful, Heller added.
Another expert, Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., said while dieting isn't easy, certain strategies can help reduce stress and achieve a healthier lifestyle.
"Food itself, a reliable source of immediate gratification, may be used to relieve stress," Katz said. "When food intake is restricted, something else should replace it."
In general, dieting alone is not all that useful, Katz added. "Eating well and being active for life is the way to go," he said.
"By eating foods of higher overall nutritional quality, fullness can generally be achieved on fewer calories, elimina
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