Forget dieting. Although we are a nation of dieters, that has done little or nothing to stem the tide of obesity. Studies have shown that a minuscule percentage of dieters, generally less than 5%, are able to lose weight and keep it off for two years. In addition, the cycle of gaining and losing the same ten or twenty pounds places an unhealthy stress upon your body.
The best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes in the way you eat, changes you can live with for the rest of your life. There are many ways to do this. You can limit calories or portion sizes, or you may choose to limit certain foods (the unhealthy, fattening ones!) and emphasize others.
Ensure your daily diet includes whole, nutrition-dense foods like whole grains, good fats (olive oil and other foods with omega-3 fatty acids), lean protein, and whole fruits and vegetables.
If you do nothing else, do the two following things. First, avoid eating at fast-food restaurants; learn to make quick, healthy meals at home. Second: whether you’re single or in a family, make eating an occasion: sit down at the table for real meals and keep the TV off. Fast food and constant snacking are two major reasons for the obesity epidemic.