“When it comes to losing weight, what actually moves the needle is always dietary change,” says Caroline Cederquist, MD, a weight management specialist in Naples, Florida. People make the common mistake of going hard on exercise and then stopping when they don’t see results, she says. At the outset, focus your efforts towards changing what you eat, once you start to lose weight, then add exercise.
Ramping up the time you spend walking is important for everyone, but especially if you have more than 50 pounds to lose, says Dr. Peeke. One common mistake is thinking you have to go all-out on exercise, so you start an intense exercise regimen. “That’s the worst thing you can do because it increases your risk of injury,” she says. Brisk walking, on the other hand, helps you shed pounds and keeps you pain-free. Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
It’s easy to see the front of a package and get lured in by misleading claims, particularly those that say they’re “free-from” something, says Taub-Dix. She points out that gluten-free foods may also be high in sugar, salt, calories, and fat and contain less fiber—and thus be weight-promoting. Reading the nutrition label will give you the real truth for what you’re buying.