Diet & Weight Loss

A healthy weight is an important element of good health. How much you eat—and what you eat—play central roles in maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Exercise is the other key actor.

For years, low-fat diets were thought to be the best way to lose weight. A growing body of evidence shows that low-fat diets often don't work, in part because these diets often replace fat with easily digested carbohydrates.

Hundreds of diets have been created, many promising fast and permanent weight loss. Remember the cabbage soup diet? The grapefruit diet? How about the Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle diet, the caveman diet, the Subway diet, the apple cider vinegar diet, and a host of forgettable celebrity diets?

The truth is, almost any diet will work if it helps you take in fewer calories. Diets do this in two main ways:

  • getting you to eat certain "good" foods and/or avoid "bad" ones
  • changing how you behave and the ways you think or feel about food

The best diet for losing weight is one that is good for all parts of your body, from your brain to your toes, and not just for your waistline. It is also one you can live with for a long time. In other words, a diet that offers plenty of good tasting and healthy choices, banishes few foods, and doesn't require an extensive and expensive list of groceries or supplements.

One diet that fills the bill is a Mediterranean-type diet. Such a diet—and there are many variations—usually includes:

  • several servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • whole-grain breads and cereals
  • healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil
  • lean protein from poultry, fish, and beans
  • limited amounts of red meat
  • moderate wine consumption with meals (no more than two glasses a day for men; no more than one a day for women

A Mediterranean-style diet is a flexible eating pattern. People who follow such diets tend to have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and other chronic conditions.

Diet & Weight Loss Articles

6 ways to maximize lung health

There are many ways to maximize lung health. For example, exercising gets the heart and lungs pumping, causing a person to take deep breaths. Those deep breaths open up all areas of the lungs and assist in clearing out accumulated lung secretions (mucus). Other ways to maximize lung health include avoiding exposure to air pollution, quitting smoking, practicing deep breathing exercises, controlling weight, and getting out of a chair at least once per hour to take some deep breaths. (Locked) More »

Fight chronic inflammation and cholesterol to protect your heart

High cholesterol and chronic inflammation together raise the risk for heart attacks, strokes, and related problems. Several approaches can fight both at the same time. One is eating a heart-healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean proteins (fish and poultry), low-fat dairy foods, and olive oil. Another is controlling weight, since fat tissue triggers chronic inflammation. Other approaches include increasing physical activity and addressing sleep and stress issues. (Locked) More »

Go big green

Studies show that people who regularly adhere to the Mediterranean diet lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer, and cognitive decline with age. But it’s possible that this healthy diet can be made even healthier. New research suggests that making the diet "greener" by boosting amounts of dark green vegetables, green tea, and plant proteins high in the micronutrients known as polyphenols offers even greater benefits. (Locked) More »

Weight-loss diets that keep your heart happy

People should be cautious about weight-loss diets that restrict a specific category of food (such as carbohydrates, fats, or even animal products) without focusing on the overall quality of the foods. Diets with lots of ultra-processed foods or red meat may contribute to poor heart health. But people can lose weight on less-extreme versions of either low-carb or low-fat diets, as long as they focus mostly on unprocessed or minimally processed foods. (Locked) More »

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights

While engaging in one of your favorie physical activities or exercises, you may have asked yourself, "How many calories do I burn while doing this?" Well, you may find your answer here. The table below lists the calories burned by doing dozens of activities listed by category (such as gym activities, training and sports activities, home repair etc.) for 30 minutes. Activities and exercises include walking (casual, race, and everything in between), swimming, jogging, yoga, and many more. Weight Lifting: general More »

Did my diet cause my gout?

Diet alone is unlikely to cause a type of painful arthritis known as gout, but can trigger an attack in someone who already has the condition. (Locked) More »

Can you supercharge the Mediterranean diet?

A Mediterranean diet featuring plant-based proteins is associated with more weight loss and steeper declines in cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation markers than a Mediterranean diet with more animal-based proteins. More »