Diet Secrets

February 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Two out of three American adults are overweight.We gain an average 20 pounds between the ages of 25 and 55. But some people are able to lose weight and keep it off.

Diane Lobel lost 40 pounds and has kept it off for three years. She carries these before-and-after photos in her gym bag to keep her on track.

To unlock the secrets of successful dieters like Diane, consumer reports surveyed 21,000 of its subscribers. Jamie Kopf Hirsh said the magazine also surveyed people who've always been thin.

As for the successful dieters like Diane, most lost the weight without the help of a diet program, diet pills, or a medical treatment. Their strategies were similar to those of the naturally thin.

Other winning strategies: Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, opting for whole-wheat breads and other whole grains rather than white flour, and limiting fat. That plus exercise. While vigorous exercise is particularly effective, consumer reports' survey showed any physical activity is helpful.

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