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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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Successful Dieters

A new article on successful dieters in the February issue of Consumer Reports piqued my interest. Make sure you click on all of the sections on the left if you go to the hyperlink I provided here.

I am always interested when I see articles like this. They surveyed subscribers to Consumer Reports about their eating, dieting, and exercising habits. So...what do people who maintain a healthy weight have in common? I don't think the answers will shock you.

  • 3% of people who have never been overweight reported that they never exercised and ate whatever they wanted. Do the math: that means that 97% of the people have or do exercise and watch what they eat.
  • Those same people (healthy weight) eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and stay away from excessive dietary fat
  • Portion control is top of the list for how they manage their weight

People who have never had a weight problem seem to come by these habits more naturally, but they do admit that they work hard at maintaining a healthy weight.

Of those over 21,000 readers who responded to the survey, here is how they looked:
  • 66% were overweight as assessed by their body mass index (BMI)
  • 22% of the overall sample and one-third of the overweight group was obese
  • 16% were always thin (or normal weight, not overweight)
  • 15% were successful losers (weighed at least 10% less than at their heaviest and been there for 3 years)
  • 42% were failed dieters (at or near their lifetime highest weight)
  • 27% didn't fit into any of the categories because they reported losing weight recently

Of those people who were successful losers, more than half lost the weight themselves without medical treatment, a book, pills, or a commercial program.

Tune in tomorrow for tips from this article on how to lose weight on a budget and exactly which are the top 6 behaviors that were correlated with healthy BMI.
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About the Author


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

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