Less is more: Strategies for losing weight in the new year

Single floret of broccoli on white plate
Are you one of the millions of people who resolved to lose weight in the New Year? If so, it can be helpful to know what NOT to do as you start a new diet.

According to ADC’s Health Risk Management Manager Maribel Rodriguez, there is one popular diet strategy that is almost certainly doomed to fail: eating less.

“The idea of eating less in order to lose weight is one of the biggest dieting myths that exist today,” she said. “If you follow that advice, chances are you’re going to feel deprived and hungry. And when people are hungry, they go for the quickest food they can find, which in most cases will be higher calorie.”

In addition, “It may be possible to muscle through being really hungry and stick to your diet, but for every time someone does stare down the cookies, or the chips, pizza, candy, etc., there are countless times when the cookies will win. When you let yourself get hungry, all bets are off, and for that moment, the diet is over,” she said.

The good news is that dieting doesn’t have to be that way. Rodriguez says the research is clear — instead of simply trying to eat less, you can eat more— a lot more lower calorie, higher volume foods. These include fruits and vegetables that can actually fill you up without the calories adding up.

Being full makes it a lot easier to resist temptations to eat off the diet, and as a result, you lose more weight.

“In our weight-loss program we tell our dieters that it’s possible to eat a lot of food and still lose weight,” she said. “It’s much more important to change what you’re eating than it is to try to change how much you’re allowing yourself to eat.”

Here are some examples:

  • Breakfast
    Instead of a 3 oz. donut for about 350 calories, have aweight-loss shake with a cup of strawberries blended in. You’ll feel more full with almost a half-pound of food, for only 200 calories.
  • Lunch
    Instead of a fast food burger and fries (940 calories and about 14 oz. of food) have a low calorie packaged entree with two cups of vegetables for 20 oz. of food and only 320 calories.