Don't bother with fad diets, but still lose those extra pounds in 2001.

Sound like a futuristic dream? It's not, you can take control of your weight this year with a few simple eating and lifestyle changes recommended by the experts at, an Internet site providing recipes and meal planning solutions for today's busy consumer.

Jeanine Sherry,'s registered dietician, has counseled consumers on how to manage their weight, improve eating habits and organize and simplify meals for 15 years. She points out that jumping in and out of fad diets can create a yo-yo effect that actually raises your overall body fat.

``When most people lose weight by dieting, they lose lean muscle mass as well as fat, especially if they don't exercise,'' says Sherry. ``When weight is regained, most of it is fat. Every yo-yo cycle increases the percentage of body fat and decreases the percentage of lean body mass.''

So how do you keep from yo-yoing? Exercise will help maintain muscle mass, but eliminating fad diets and changing your eating habits will make a bigger difference in your overall health and ability to control your weight. Sherry has some suggestions that can help get you started:

  • Don't drink your calories. Chewing your calories takes longer and provides more satisfaction. Eat an orange or apple instead of drinking juice.
  • Fill up on vegetables, fruits and grains. They're loaded with nutrients, not calories.
  • Eat mini-meals throughout the day. Eat every two-to-three hours and include protein, carbohydrate and fiber at each meal to keep feeling satisfied and energetic.
  • Enjoy eating, stop overeating. Most people would lose all the weight they want just by cutting portion sizes. Start with smaller portions on your plate, and wait 10 minutes before going back for more.

Sherry also has some advice on the use of popular weight loss supplements. For a complete list of her suggestions on eating and exercise, along with weight loss advice, go to and look for her article titled ``Weight Management,'' in the Nutrition center. Many other articles with helpful nutrition tips, recipes and meal planning advice are available in the Reference Center.

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