Is Dieting A Dying Trend For Most Americans?

The NPD Group’s latest National Eating Trends survey offers up some interesting results:  Americans who report being currently on a diet has dropped dramatically over the last 20 years. But that doesn’t mean people aren‘t interested in losing a few pounds. In a USA Today report, Harry Balzer, the author of the study, states that the findings show approximately 60 percent of American adults want to lose at least 20 pounds
It sounds like reasonable weight loss goal for many people. The good news is making small changes to your lifestyle can help you lose and keep off those pesky twenty pounds. Before you embrace and fail that next radical diet, try these healthy living tips instead. Note that the more of these tips you follow, the better equipped you will be to reach your weight loss goal.
Best ways to lose 20 pounds
Lower your carb intake: Numerous high-profile studies have shown low-carb diets are the most effective for weight loss. That said, 20 pounds is a moderate weight loss goal, so start with a moderate reduction in your carb intake. You are more likely to stick to a slight change in your diet versus going carb-free cold turkey.
Downsize your dishes: Studies show that altering the size of your dishes can help tremendously with portion control. Ditch the dinner plates for a mid-sized one, and do the same with your bowls and glasses. (Full glasses are fine for water, but use smaller glasses for juices and sodas, if you find you can’t give up the latter.)
Kick the soda habit (diet too!): Sugar-laden sodas have long been known to be a main culprit in weight gain. But switching to diet sodas is not necessarily the best answer. Studies have been inconclusive so far, but most experts agree that it is better to avoid the artificial sweeteners in sodas and drink calorie-free beverages like water (try seltzer if you like the bubbles) and unsweetened coffee and tea.
Don’t deprive yourself: The sure-fire way to get derailed from your weight loss goal is to deprive yourself for too long. That’s why extreme diets don’t work for most people. Subtle, permanent changes to your eating habits offer you the best shot at weight loss success. So that means, yes, you can have a piece of chocolate now and then. (Aim for pure dark chocolate for the antioxidant effects.)
Short and sweet workouts: Changing your diet will help you lose weight, but to get your body in better shape, you still need to exercise. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all day in the gym, however. Researchers have found that short bursts of exercise can help boost the metabolism, which in turn, helps to burn calories. If one hour of exercise a day sounds like too much to start off with, break it down into 15-minute increments spread out four times over the day.
Get more sleep: This is most people’s favorite weight loss tip. Yes, you should snooze more to lose more. That doesn’t mean you should engage in 12-hour sleep marathons. Most experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep each night for the average person. If you consistently find yourself getting considerably less sleep than that, try altering your schedule to allow for more snooze time. See if your unhealthy cravings or tendency to binge eat decline with the increase in sleep.
Control the stress: There is no doubt that stress can pack on the pounds. Many people turn to food as a source of comfort to deal with stress. The best way to relieve stress is by exercising. For some people, that means lifting weights at the gym or engaging in a high-energy aerobics class. But others may turn to a more relaxing form of exercise, such as swimming or yoga. The key is to find an outlet to relieve your stress that doesn’t involve eating and gets your body moving.

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