01/11/06 — Experts -- Diet, exercise still best ways to beat the bulge

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Experts -- Diet, exercise still best ways to beat the bulge

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 11, 2006 1:53 PM

Meat, cheese, greasy fries and a scoop of ice-cream. Feel free to pile on a few extra carbs, too.

Many county residents made an age-old resolution for the new year when the clock struck midnight Jan. 1.

"I'm going to lose at least 40 pounds this year," said recent retiree Johanna Baker, who began laughing and added, "I don't know what diet to pick, but it's gonna be the one that can get me into some of my daughter's clothes."


News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

Experts say that if you really want to lose weight, exercise and diet are still the best ways to make that resolution stick - just like these exercisers at the Goldsboro YMCA.

Mrs. Baker, along with thousands across the country, vowed to diet in 2006 -- hoping to shed a few pounds before hitting North Carolina beaches this summer.

"I want to look good in my two-piece," Mrs. Baker said.

The Wayne County Health Department has good news for those who love both food and their slender figure.

"No food is a forbidden food," dietitian Stephanie Howard said. "People just need to remember that the calories they take in need to equal the calories they burn out."

There are hundreds of diets sweeping the nation.

Refrigerators packed with Slim-Fast milkshakes, pantries cleared of carbohydrates and Weight Watchers endorsees armed with calculators are commonplace in counties across the U.S.

"I keep my calculator in my purse," Mallory Thomas said. "I lost about 20 pounds last year and want to lose at least 20 more."

Employees at local bookstores said they are seeing diet books fly off the shelves. Books-a-Million manager Shalinda Loftin estimates a few hundred sold in the past week or so.

"Right after Christmas, people came in and started to buy diet books," she said.

Mrs. Loftin added Arthur Agatston's bestseller "The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook," and Michael F. Roizen's "YOU: The Owners Manual" have been the store's hottest sellers.

Mrs. Howard said despite these "hot diets" that promise big losses, health officials generally just endorse the food pyramid, which has added a food group to its traditional four and can be located on the Internet.

"The new one (pyramid) has taken some time to get to know," she said. "This is a new spin on things."

Following a balanced diet, as described on the pyramid, in addition to a daily dose of exercise, is still the best way to shed excess fat and maintain a healthy lifestyle, she said.

The new pyramid can be found at www.mypyramid.com.