Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stop dieting, start moving to lose weight, keep it off

Before you begin digging out your favorite diet or checking out one of the zillion other diets online, you might want to think about giving up the diet quest if weight loss is your goal. A diet likely won't get you to your ultimate goal of sustaining the weight you lose because 95 percent of people who go on diets will eventually regain the weight they have lost, plus more.

Three reasons to forgo diets

1 Temporary fix: When you lose weight quickly, most of it will be water. To keep weight off permanently, it is better to lose weight slowly (1 or 2 pounds a week).

2 Nutritional deficiencies: When the body is unable to absorb proper nutrients for a prolonged period of time, a variety of health issues can develop, including anemia and extreme fatigue.

3 Muscle loss: If a diet calls for less than 1,000 calories per day, your body feels in "starvation mode" and will begin to pull protein from the muscle to make up for lack of nutrients. And, you don't want to lose muscle, as muscle is the "engine" that helps burn calories.

Losing weight without dieting

1 One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. By cutting out 500 calories a day, and adding exercise to your daily routine, you can lose a pound a week.

2 Keeping a food journal for at least a week increases an awareness of what and how much you are eating. It will help you see ways of cutting back.

3 Eat breakfast and don't skip meals. Your metabolism can slow down, causing you to burn fewer calories.

4 To help prevent overeating, begin dinner with a salad or a broth-based soup.

5 Avoid sweetened drinks and sodas. If you become hungry between meals, drink a glass of low-sodium vegetable juice.

6 Use mustard instead of mayonnaise, and choose marinara sauce over alfredo sauce (tomato-based sauces have fewer calories and much less fat than cream-based sauces).

7Buy a pedometer and record your steps, aiming for 10,000 a day.

8Find reasons to move more: Pace while talking on phone, take computer breaks and stretch; include cardio and strength exercises throughout the week.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson can be reached at

Wall Sit: Strengthens quadriceps (front of thighs). Keeping back against wall, place feet several feet in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Contracting abdominals, slide down wall until thighs are parallel to floor, knees over ankles. Beginners and people with knee issues should slide down only a few inches. Hold eight to 12 seconds. Slowly return to original position, and repeat eight to 10 times.

Standing Chair Twist: Helps remove tension in back muscles. Standing tall, abdominals contracted, place right foot on chair, right hand on chair. Taking a deep inhale, exhale as you twist to the right side, placing left hand on back of chair and right hand on hip; twist three or four times.

Side Lunge With Knee Lift: Works whole body and balance. Step into a side lunge, rotating left shoulder toward right knee, right hand resting on hip. Push off into standing position with right knee lifted. Do eight to 10 repetitions.

Stop dieting, start moving to lose weight, keep it off 04/21/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2014 5:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera won't run for Congress


    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has decided not to run for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress, though he may seek another office in 2020.

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
  2. From the food editor: 'MasterChef' winner Shaun O'Neale talks cooking at Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival


    There are certain reliable signs that fall is on the way. Nothing in the weather department, of course, but other markers that usher in the celebratory final months of the year. One of those things is the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which happens annually in Orlando, seemingly longer and more jam-packed …

    Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Puree. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  3. Mike Evans stands behind Michael Bennett


    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
  4. Man, I miss Planet Simeon


    Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.