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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Six Keys to a Healthy Weight

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I hope you read my last post about the Consumer Reports article on weight in the February 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.

They surveyed over 21,000 readers to find out about their nutrition and exercise habits as well as their weight. Consumer Reports found 6 key behaviors that correlated most strongly with having a healthy body mass index (BMI):

  1. Watch portions. Of all of the behaviors asked about, being very careful about portions was the most strongly correlated with having a lower BMI.
  2. Limit fat. 53% of the successful losers and 47% of the always thin limit their fat to less than one-third of their daily calories.
  3. Fruits and veggies. The more days someone ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, the lower their average BMI.
  4. Whole grains. Choosing whole grains over refined grains was consistent with people with lower BMIs.
  5. Eating at home. This is really interesting: Weight increased as the number of days per week the respondent ate out at a restaurant (or had take-out). Eating at home can also save you money!
  6. Exercise. Doing at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise (more than just walking the dog!) was strongly linked to a lower BMI.

This part is really interesting:
People who limited carbs.....actually had a higher BMI than people who didn't. So much for the low carb diets! They did point out that people who are overweight reported restricting carbs which could lead to future weight loss. But we all know that it is total calories in and out that matter.

Tune in tomorrow for tips on how to eat healthy on a budget (more tips from this Consumer Reports article---it was just chock full of good stuff!)
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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