The 3 Best Ways to Lose Weight

A scientific study reveals the three things you need to lose weight

best ways to lose weight
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If you ask a diet expert about the best ways to lose weight, you're likely to get a wide range of answers. So dieters often spend hours online trying to find the best eating plan, the newest workout trend or the most effective supplements for weight loss. But often, the pills are too expensive, the diets are too complicated and the workouts are too exhausting.

So how do you find a weight loss program that will really work?

A scientific study revealed that all of that work may not be necessary. Researchers found that there are really only three things you need if you want to lose weight.

3 Best Ways to Lose Weight

So what does it take to lose weight? According to a major review of weight loss studies published in JAMA, obese dieters who combined these three things were most successful at weight loss.

  • A diet that reduced food intake by about 500 calories per day 
  • More physical activity like walking for 20-25 minutes each day
  • Support from a trained professional such as a doctor, registered nurse, or registered dietitian

When researchers evaluated the results of different weight loss studies, they found that when dieters did one of the things on the list but not the others they were less successful. And even dieters who did only two things lost less weight. The biggest losers were those who combined all three: diet, exercise, and support.

The Best Ways to Boost Weight Loss

Maybe the results of the study are not surprising to you. After all, the fact that we need to eat less and move more isn't exactly groundbreaking news. But there are a few takeaways from this research that may be helpful if you are trying to slim down.

  • Don't underestimate the role that your physician can play in your weight loss journey. Your doctor can help you to understand how weight loss can improve your health. He or she can also provide support and referrals to other professionals like a registered dietitian who can help make weight loss easier for you. The support you get from a physician, a nurse or a registered dietitian can help you to stay motivated and on track when typical challenges arise.

And lastly, you can't expect big results if you only make small changes. If you really want to lose weight, you need to tackle each of the three tasks if you want to see real results. Record your daily calorie intake, measure your weekly workouts and stay accountable to a health coach or other professional to reach your weight loss goal and keep the weight off for good.


Wadden TA, Butryn ML, Hong PS, Tsai AG. " Behavioral Treatment of Obesity in Patients Encountered in Primary Care Settings: A Systematic Review.." JAMA. 2014;312(17):1779-1791. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14173.

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