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7 Eating Tips for People Too Smart to Diet

... and none of them include popular diet trends.

Lucky Business/Shutterstock
Source: Lucky Business/Shutterstock

Most approaches to weight loss are ineffective, as I explain in Smart People Don’t Diet: How the Latest Science Can Help You Lose Weight Permanently. While scientists know conclusively that typical diets do not work, there is less consensus about what does work. I summarize some of the latest evidence for a gradual, sustainable approach in my book, but different approaches may work for different people.

“Give me the brief summary of what I should do to lose weight,” people often ask me. to answer, I've turned to some of my favorite experts in the field—including a registered dietician, a nutritionist, and a weight loss coach—for their most essential advice. Surprisingly, no two people offered the exact same advice, but all of it was evidence-based.

Here are 7 pieces of advice that you may not have considered: 

  1. “Your current habits support your current weight. If you start changing your habits from unhealthy to healthier ones, then your weight and body will change. Focus on changing just one habit each week. This will move you closer to your weight-loss goals. Remember: It takes time to change. Many of your current habits were formed over years, so be patient and kind to yourself.”

    Heather Robertson, life and weight loss coach
  2. “Stop counting calories and tune into your body's hunger and satiety signals instead. If you're not hungry, you don't need to eat, no matter what your calorie budget says; if you are satisfied, there is no need to keep eating, no matter what your calorie budget says.”

    Georgie Fear, registered dietitian and pro nutrition coach; author, Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss
  3. “Sell your car and take public transportation to work. If you don't live within walking distance of a train or a grocery shopping center, move! Studies show we walk or move 2.5 hours less per day than the previous generation did. The only way to make this up is by designing our environment so that we have to move more. Having a car outside your house is too much of a temptation. Of course, the above is impossible if you have kids.”

    Joe Dixon, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional science, Rutgers University; author, Ancel and Margaret Keys and the Discovery of the Mediterranean Diet
  4. Eat less, exercise more. Four easy words to understand that have proven results for weight loss, albeit difficult to follow. To incorporate this mantra into your life, make the environment work in your favor. Eat off of smaller plates, keep fruits in a bowl on your table, and store cut-up vegetables at eye level in your refrigerator. When parking your car, consider a spot far from your entrance location and always take the stairs when available. These simple tips have proven to promote smaller portions, increased fruit and vegetable intake, and increased exercise,  without you having to be cognizant of weight loss efforts on a daily basis.”

    Peggy Policastro, M.S., registered dietician, instructor and director, Healthy Dining Team, Rutgers University
  5. "Weight loss boils down to one concept—calories in and calories out. Maintaining a low-calorie diet composed of nutritionally dense foods, and exercising to enhance the calorie deficit, will yield weight loss."

    — Nicole Matsuk, M. A., community assistant in the SNAP-Ed program
  6. "Don't over-rely on exercise to lose weight. Exercise is great for getting and staying healthy—and we should all exercise frequently—but eating well, and not too much, is what helps you lose weight. So engage in activities that create channels that lead you toward eating healthier and smaller portions of food, such as making lists of healthy foods you like and keeping them on your cell phone to refer to when you are grocery shopping.”

    — Lorie Sousa, Ph.D., CEO of SmartenFit
  7. “Don’t completely restrict yourself from foods that you enjoy. Life is too short to forgo the pleasure derived from food. But to live a long and healthy life, it is essential to make smart choices most of the time.”

    — Charlotte Markey, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Rutgers University; author, Smart People Don’t Diet: How the Latest Science Can Help You Lose Weight Permanently
Charlotte Markey
Source: Charlotte Markey

@Copyright Charlotte Markey 2015

Smart People Don’t Diet (Da Capo Lifelong Books and Nero) by Charlotte Markey is available now where ever books are sold. You can follow Markey on Twitter (@Char_Markey), Facebook (Dr. Charlotte Markey), Pinterest (Dr. Charlotte Markey) and on her website.