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If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, diets just don’t work, according to an analysis conducted at UCLA.

Traci Mann, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, and colleagues analyzed 31 diet studies tracking participants from two to five years. Dr. Mann says, “Any number of diets can help people lose 5- 10 percent of their body weight within six months, but the weight gradually comes back.” According to Patty Beckwith, M.P.H., R.D., UCLA dietitian, “Lifestyle modification in relationship to food and exercise is the only effective method to achieve and sustain weight loss.”

A lasting solution to the weight problems that affect almost 60 percent of Americans will not come in the form of a diet designed for short-term weight loss. A long-term solution is realistic only when—for the rest of your life—you’re willing to adopt a lifestyle that fosters eating in moderation, controlling calorie intake, and exercising almost every day. Healthy Years

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, May/June 2008. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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