It’s Official: Counting Calories Is Still the Best Way to Lose Weight

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Counting calories is still the best way to lose weight safelyBy Deborah Goldstein
With so many fad diets on the market, it’s hard not to be enticed by the promise of shedding pounds via some magical new strategy. Have you tried eating less carbs? More protein? Less sugar? Raw food? Have you gone gluten-free? Eaten like our ancestors? Among all this conflicting information remains the tried-and-true key to successful weight loss.

Eat less calories than your body needs. As if we needed a reality check, scientists have once again proven this sage, simple advice to be true.

This month, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a study on overeating and protein intake. The experts concluded that regardless of what the subjects ate (protein, carbs, or fat), consuming too many calories caused weight gain:

Among persons living in a controlled setting, calories alone account for the increase in fat; protein affected energy expenditure and storage of lean body mass, but not body fat storage.

JAMAL suggests that, generally speaking, cutting about 500 calories per day will help you drop one pound per week. A person’s genetics, gender, body weight and other factors are known variables, but overall, monitoring the caloric content of what you eat should help you lose weight.

The new twist to this traditional method of dieting? There are plenty of helpful apps and online tools to aid your calorie-counting efforts. We love the Complete Food Counter, the Atkins community forums (and recipes!), and free online fitness and food tracker My Fitness Pal.


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In The Pollan Family Table, Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan invite you into their warm, inspiring kitchens, sharing more than 100 of their family’s best recipes. Corky Pollan is the author of Shopping Manhattan, food blogger, the acclaimed Best Bets editor at New York magazine, and former Style Director of Gourmet magazine. Lori Pollan who holds an MBA, is a certified Life Coach with a focus on health and wellness, and cofounded the renowned Pollan-Austen Fitness Center with Dana Pollan, who cocreated and produced a series of exercise videos there. Tracy Pollan is an Emmy Award nominated actress who has appeared in television, film, and on the Broadway stage. She has served on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research since its inception in 2000.

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