Q: I exercised regularly all summer, but I didn’t really lose any weight! How is that possible? What am I doing wrong? – Jane P., Wichita, Kansas
A: You are voicing a very common complaint, and you and millions of other folks are probably making a very simple mistake: eating incorrectly. Steady workouts burn more fuel, and that can increase hunger big-time. Often you end up eating more calories than you’ve used up, and that’s why you don’t lose weight!
While it may seem simplistic, a recent study conducted by the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine echoes that answer, loud and clear: “There is only one effective way to lose weight: eat fewer calories.” That means you need to pay attention to how many you are burning up through exercise (and the rest of the day). And you want to learn how to ease your hunger by eating foods that provide great nutrition, power you up and don’t load you down with extra calories.
The formula for weight loss? Drink a couple of glasses of water 30 minutes before each meal. Increase your fruits and veggies to nine servings a day; they fill you up, build muscle power, stimulate secretion of your “I’m full” hormone leptin and keep blood sugar levels steady (all that fiber). Eat small servings of lean protein several times a day (limit a portion to around 3-6 ounces of salmon, skinless poultry or brown rice and beans); that also avoids hunger panic and builds muscle. And don’t expect weight to melt away in a flash. You should lose a half pound to a pound a week.
What does exercise do for your weight? It helps keep it off as you lose it. So don’t stop your exercise routine when the weather turns colder. Join a gym or take spin classes; keep walking 10,000 steps a day and change your diet so you lose weight slowly and won’t gain it back.
© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.