Eating less and exercising more ‘best way to diet’

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Forget fad diets – the most effective way to lose weight is by simply eating less fat and taking more exercise, a study has found.

The “not rocket science” weight loss formula achieved results in a large proportion of 2,500 obese Americans.

Forty per cent managed to shed five per cent or more of their weight, and 20 per cent lost a tenth or more over a period of 12 months.

Before losing weight, all had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, meeting the clinical definition of obese.

Dr Jacinda Nicklas, from Harvard Medical School, who led the dieting study, said: “This is great news because studies have shown that even a five per cent reduction in weight can lead to improved health.” The researchers analysed data from a total of 4,000 obese individuals who took part in a large health and nutrition survey.

Of these, 2,523 reported trying to lose weight. Writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the authors concluded: “Those who exercised more and ate less fat were significantly more likely to lose weight.”