Weight loss is still the number one New Year's resolution, but what's the best way to get to your goals?
Fad diets are not a long term solution, and some of them can be downright dangerous says Dr. Melinda Sothern, Professor and Director of the Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Program at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health.
One of the latest trends in the media is blaming weight gain on food intolerances, especially wheat. Dr. Sothern says doctors are actually finding more people intolerant of certain foods, but that may be because more people are now getting tested.
Do any of the new gimmicks work, or is the medical community still touting limiting calories and exercising more as the #1 way to slim down?
Dr. Sothern says start your diet with a checkup by your doctor, and do a blood test if you do suspect you might have food intolerances. "I always recommend if someone wants to begin a weight loss program that they get an appointment with their physician. And in fact the physician may identify some intolerances."
But for adults, she says the most important thing to focus on is lowering calories, followed by increasing exercise. "The science in adults is clear, that you get better weight loss by reducing calories. However the science in children is the opposite. You get better weight loss, and longer lasting weight loss, if you increase activity in children."
But that doesn't mean you don't have to work out! "All scientists agree you must exercise or develop an exercise program, and stay with that exercise program to keep that weight off," says Dr. Sothern.
Even though weight loss is the top New Year's resolution, it's probably the least successful experts say.