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My Turn

January 11, 2010

My Turn: What's the secret to weight loss?

This week's "My turn" column is by Juliana Hanbridge, registered dietitian and owner of Curves of Cooperstown.

I have a little secret to share with you Daily Star readers. Are you ready? OK, here it is: There is no magic pill or secret potion for weight loss. There is no specific food group or vitamin; no shake mix or exercise product sold on TV that will provide quick and effective results.

I'm sure most of us are aware that an apple is better for our health than a doughnut, so why do we keep getting fatter?

The issue of weight gain can be complex and involve multiple factors such as environment, lifestyle, body composition and physical and emotional health.

I am a registered dietitian and owner of a woman's fitness franchise, but I still struggle with my weight (as I have for most of my adult life). However, there is one basic principle that could help all of us in the battle of the bulge:

Move more and eat less!

1) Educate yourself on good nutrition.

Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and reduce consumption of high-fat and high-sugar foods. Find out what your ideal body weight is and how many calories you need each day. Learn the proper portion sizes for many of the foods you like to eat. Check out for direction from The American Dietetic Association.

2) Prepare the majority of your meals at home.

More Americans eat their meals in restaurants or bring takeout food home than ever before. But the convenience is taking a toll on our health and our weight. Meals prepared away from home are notoriously high in fat, sugar and salt. Cooking at home takes effort and a little bit of pre-planning, but it's worth it.

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