"The doctor is even happy. He thought I was a completely different patient. He had to check his records to make sure it was me," said Lobel.
To unlock the secrets of successful dieters like Diane, Consumer Reports surveyed 21,000 of its subscribers. Jamie Kopf Hirsh says the magazine also surveyed people who have always been thin.
"People who've always been thin typically aren't sitting around eating potato chips. Only three percent of the thin people we surveyed said they ate whatever they pleased and never exercised," said Jamie Kopf Hirsh, Consumer Reports.
As for the successful dieters like Diane, most lost the weight without the help of a diet program, diet pills, or a medical treatment. Their strategies were similar to those of the naturally thin.
"Portion control is a given. I have to make sure I don't go overboard on anything that I eat," said Lobel.
Other winning strategies is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, opting for whole-wheat breads and other whole grains rather than white flour, and limiting fat. That plus exercise. While vigorous exercise is particularly effective, Consumer Reports' survey showed any physical activity is helpful.
Along with Consumer Reports findings, The National Weight Control Registry has the largest data base of people who've lost at least 14 pounds and kept if off for more than one year.
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