Two-thirds of all Americans are Overweight or Obese
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. "People are now hearing what health experts have been saying for years, Americans are too heavy and the excess weight is putting a huge burden on their health and the health care system," says Jeff Behar, a health and wellness expert based in Los Angeles, California.
Americans are Getting the Message to Lose Weight
Regardless of what methods they are using, Americans are getting the message. The CCC survey found 54 percent of Americans trying to lose weight.
This nationally projectable survey was conducted in November-December 2010 by Booth Research Services, among 1,203 males and females aged 18 years and older. The sample reliability is plus or minus 2.8 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.
The results of the CCC survey are in contrast with much of the recent emphasis and news about royal diets (Kate Middleton's Dukan diet, for instance, prior to the Royal Wedding) and celebrity dieting programs.
Restrictive Diets do not Work for Long Term Weight Loss
"Restricting a specific macronutrient - carbohydrates, fats and proteins - or severely restricting calories, unwittingly setting you up for failure in the long term. when it comes to long term weight loss," according to LLos Angeles based health and
Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian with the Calorie Control Council agrees.
"Restrictive dieting, such as cutting out certain foods entirely, may work in the short term, but it usually does not pay off in the long term. Be wary of 'fad' diets that suggest drastically cutting entire food groups or avoiding certain foods. Although it may be something you can do for the next few months, if it is not something you can maintain over the long haul, be cautious."
Restrictive Diets and Dieting Programs are Not Representative of America
Not only are restrictive diets or dieting programs like Jenny Craig not representative of America, other less popular methods used by those on a diet included the use of online weight loss programs (mentioned by 7% of respondents), using diet pills (13%) and skipping meals (17%). At the other end of the scale, cutting back on foods high in sugar was mentioned most often (by 86% of respondents). Other popular weight control methods by those trying to lose weight include eating smaller portion sizes (85%) and consuming low-calorie and sugar-free foods and beverages (78%). Also, 73 percent of Americans trying to lose weight say they are combining calorie reduction with exercise.
Make Lifestyle Changes for Long Term Weight Loss
"A good way to start losing weight is by making small lifestyle changes," notes Behar.
"Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and limiting calorie laden drinks is one quick way to jump start a weight loss program. Gradually adding more exercise to your daily routine and and eating smarter by limiting procxessed foods, limited bad fats and reducing portion size will help expedite weight loss and help keep the weight off. It is important to realize that these healthy lifestyle changes need to be changes that can be maintained for life."