CM: My PhD work focused on the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity. I like to tell people I spent 10 years in school learning that to lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more. There's no way to get around the fact that weight loss requires a shift in energy intake and expenditure, so you're expending more calories than consuming. Obviously where those nutrients are coming from is important, as is the type of exercise you do. You can lose weight and look like a "skinny, fat person" or you can lose weight and actually preserve some muscle mass to help burn additional calories. It's crucial to learn about optimizing your nutrient intake first; if you're reducing your calories, you need to make sure the calories you're eating are providing a ton of nutrients...a lot of "bang for your buck" so to speak. Focus on whole grains (or as I like to say "think fiber, not carbs"), lean proteins, the omega 3's and other healthy fats, and of course fruits and veggies. It's important to learn what a portion size is to determine the amount of calories in particular foods; once you learn this and actually eat proper portion sizes, the weight loss part will come along for the ride.
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