The #1 way to lose weight according to doctors isn’t a mystery, but it is hard for many of us to sustain. For all we’ve learned about the science of losing weight—perhaps most importantly, that low-fat and super-low-calorie diets don’t work—more Americans are overweight or obese than ever. Further complicating matters: Recent studies have found that when we lose weight, our bodies actually try to hang on to fat. When pounds drop off rapidly, metabolism slows down in an attempt to keep things stable.

But successful weight loss is possible by shaking off the fads and committing to a few key concepts. Here’s what doctors say are the most effective ways to lose weight. Read on for the top 5 tips, counting down to #1—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these 17 Most Weight-Loss Friendly Foods on the Planet. 

All of us should exercise daily for health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise—such as brisk walking—per week. But exercising for weight loss is tricky. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and exercise can make you hungry, which can lead to taking in more calories. However, building muscle via resistance exercise can boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. So experts recommend exercising most days of the week with at least two strength-training workouts weekly. Just be realistic about its effects and make it part of a weight-loss regimen, not your whole plan.


Vegetables are high in fiber, which is extremely satiating. When you’re satisfied, you’ll eat less. “Non-starchy vegetables really fill you up,” says JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of preventive medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, salad greens and mushrooms. (Starchy vegetables, like potatoes, peas and corn, may be less effective because starch is converted in the body to sugar.) Experts recommend allotting at least half your plate to vegetables at every meal. 


To lose weight, doctors agree that it’s essential to consume less added sugar. Sugary drinks and foods cause blood sugar to spike and crash, causing …….


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