What do you think of when you read a headline about a new diet pill? Are you filled with hope that this will be THE weight-loss magic you’ve been waiting for, or do your eyes glaze over as you quickly dismiss it as bunk? Either way, you may want to reserve your quick judgment on Gelesis100, a diet drug previously known as "Attiva" that's been getting a lot of buzz.
According to research presented at a joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, the weight-loss pill -- which expands in your stomach, signaling your brain that you're full -- shows promise for those struggling to shed weight.
“Given the excellent safety profile observed in the study, Gelesis100 has the potential to fulfill the unmet need for a safe and effective weight-loss agent,” reported Dr. Hassan Heshmati, chief medical officer for Gelesis and a study co-investigator.
Effective and safe? We’re listening! Although it seems we’ve heard this before. Safety, of course, is of the utmost importance when it comes to ingesting a pill on a daily basis, so to keep you out of harm’s way, we contacted Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO of New York Nutrition Group, to give us the safety basics when it comes to weight-loss drugs.
“Diet pills, especially over-the-counter, can be harmful and dangerous when not under the supervision of a trained medical professional," she says. "Make sure you consult with your doctor to discuss the pros and cons. Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for weight loss drugs.”
The nutritionists alternative to pills and diet fads? Yep, you guessed it: a healthier lifestyle. “I always encourage my clients to lose weight without the aid of weight loss supplements or drugs, because I believe it is not only more empowering that way, but it also forces you to make permanent behavior changes,” says Moskovitz.
We're inclined to agree, but a lifestyle change can be overwhelming when compared to the quick-fix promises of trendy diet pills. So to make it a little easier to adopt healthier habits that lead to long-term weight loss, we reached out to Keri Glasman, RD, celebrity nutritionist and author of The New You and Improved Diet, for her top tips for shedding pounds the natural way.
"It's easy to get swept up into the quick-fix weight loss claims we hear so often today," says Glassman. "But making meaningful diet and lifestyle changes are the key to long-term weight-loss success."
So the experts agree (as do we!): Making behavior changes is the key to permanent weight-loss. If you want to rock that bathing suit on the beach like a boss -- not only this summer but for the next five -- follow Glassman's advice for diving head-first into a healthy lifestyle:
Healthy Habit #1: Drink up. Water, that is! Dieters who replace sweetened drinks with water have been shown to lose more weight. Staying hydrated helps to keep feelings of hunger at bay and fills up your stomach. Bored by plain H2O? Add some fresh lemon or cucumber slices to give it some flavor!
Healthy Habit #2: Eat breakfast. Start every day with a balanced breakfast that combines a high-fiber starch source with lean protein to help rev your metabolism, stabilize your blood sugar, control your hunger, and boost your energy levels. Try a veggie omelet with reduced-fat cheese and a slice of whole wheat toast, or top whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of nut butter.
Healthy Habit #3: Go nuts! Tree nuts like almonds are full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, making them a perfect snack to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Toss a handful into your bag for an easy on-the-go snack to keep you energized on busy days.
Healthy Habit #4: Embrace the snack attack. Waiting too long between meals can slow your metabolism, increase hunger, and lead you to reach for that mid-afternoon candy bar! Aim to eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism revved and those cravings at bay.
Healthy Habit #5: Sleep tight. Experts agree that lack of sleep has been correlated to an increased risk of obesity, and when you’re tired, you tend to crave those high-fat, sugary foods, too. Bonus: Getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours) has added benefits for aging and disease prevention.
Healthy Habit #6: Keep track. Take out that old diary (or pick up a new one!) and start writing down all the foods you eat. Journaling can help you stay accountable and keep you on track. No more sneaking that handful of M&Ms when no one is watching!
Healthy Habit #7: Veg out. Yes, eat lots of veggies -- but also relax! Stress increases cortisol levels in the body, which in turn increase abdominal fat. Say sayonara to stress, and you'll also wave goodbye to unwanted pounds!
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