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How to lose weight and keep it off

Jan. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Is your weight doing an off-again, on-again tango? Do you regain what you lost (and then some), so you're as plumped up as Renee Zellweger in "Bridget Jones's Diary"? (She added 30 pounds.) Well, you're not alone: Up to two-thirds of overweight folks who lose 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight regain it (and more) within five years. That's not only discouraging, but the bounce-back boosts lousy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raises glucose and insulin levels, and increases insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes).

Well, we know how you can take the bounce-back out of your weight-control plan and put the bounce back into your step! Nurture your appetite-control hormones (leptin, which says "I'm full," and ghrelin, which says "I'm hungry"); make physical activity part of every day; and KO negative stress.

1. Excess weight creates leptin resistance; you can't hear its "stop eating now" message. So you want to eat healthy foods that keep you feeling full: 100 percent whole grains, fiber-rich vegetables and fruit, and lean proteins. Also: Eat five times a day -- two snacks, three meals -- to reduce cravings.

2. Next: Walk an extra 30 minutes a day (aiming for 10,000 steps daily). You'll improve muscle tone, burn fat, increase your metabolism and ease stress.

3. And since stress boosts ghrelin, it can send the message, "Eat bad-for-you comfort food now!" Show it the door with 10 minutes of meditation daily. Deep breathing and progressive tensing and relaxing of your muscles from toe to head should do it.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.

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