The 6 Secrets of Successful Dieters

There’s no question that sticking to a do-it-yourself diet plan is never easy. We rated popular diet books and took away eight practical, evidenced-based strategies for DIY dieters who want to lose weight on their own. Pick one—or two or three that work for you, and start losing!

6. Choose (and limit) your fats

Clear Glass Hermetic Jar

Many diet experts have backed away from avoiding fats, though this traditional approach is still used by very low-fat plans such as Dean Ornish’s “Eat More, Weigh Less” and the diet endorsed by the Pritikin Longevity Center.

Some research shows that a very low-fat diet can slow the progression of heart disease and breast and prostate cancer. But the dropout rate from that type of diet is high. Scientists now distinguish good fats from bad, based on copious evidence about their effect on blood cholesterol. Most of the popular diet books we analyzed warn against eating “bad” fat, including trans fats created when vegetable oil is hydrogenated, and the saturated fats from meat and dairy sources. Good fats include olive and other monounsaturated oils, nuts, avocados, and omega-3 oils from seafood and plant sources.

But good or bad, all fats have big calorie counts. They contain 9 calories per gram, compared with 4 per gram for carbohydrates and protein. The diet menu in “Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less” recommends liberally consuming healthy fats. But when we analyzed the meal plan, it totaled 1,910 calories per day, about 40 percent of them from fat, which would make weight loss unlikely for many people. The 3 secret is the best one you’ll love it!

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