Obvious news of the day: Eat less to lose weight

Here's some news that should surprise absolutely no one: Want to lose weight? All you have to do is eat less. It comes from a new study on diets by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that how much you eat matters a whole lot more than the amount of fat, carbohydrates or protein in your food.

As someone who's lost and gained and then lost again, I can tell you that nothing has been more important than making sure that my plates aren't piled high with arroz con frijoles and ropa vieja. Instead, I've learned that the key is still allowing myself to indulge in my favorite foods, but on smaller and less full plates, while also having plenty of fruit and vegetables.

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The study got volunteers to eat diets that took different approaches: some consumed more fat, some less, some took the high-carb approach while others were more concerned with their protein. But no matter what people did, researchers found that the major predictor for weight loss was sticking to whatever diet you picked.

The news isn't exactly shocking, but it's also nice to be reminded of what the right thing to do is. Deprivation diets (like only having 35% carbs a day) rarely work and, when they do, nobody can seem to stick to them for very long. As a Latina, it's particularly difficult to go without rice for any extended period of time. But that doesn't mean that I can't just have a little by switching giant spoonfuls for carefully-measured 3/4 cup servings. Doesn't that seem more manageable?

So what have we learned from all this? No matter what you do to lose those few extra pounds, the important thing is sticking to it. I know from personal experience that the most difficult part of losing weight is keeping it off. Portion control works because it's life-long and that's exactly how long I want to stay healthy and fit.

Are you surprised by the news that portion control is more important than the amount of fat, carbs or protein that you consume? How do you best lose weight or keep it off?

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Topics: overweight  latino health  health care  weight loss  womens health