Researchers have come up with the most effective weight loss programs that beat out all the fads. Two studies were recently published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" that uncover the weight loss solutions that actually work. They indicate that behavioral changes can produce the best results - and are an effective alternative to surgical weight loss solutions such as gastric bypass operations.

Both studies used pre-packaged meals and offered financial incentives to those who took part.

One study was led by Bret Goodpaster of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine which looked at 130 severely obese adult men and women (without diabetes) and over the course of a year, one group was given a diet and exercise program for all 12 months, while the other group was given a diet meal plan but they only exercised for the second 6 months. After six months, the group that began with both the diet AND the exercise plan lose more weight in the first six months than the second group - 11 kilograms on average (a whopping 24 pounds) versus 8 kilograms for the second group (around 17 pounds). By the end of the year, the weight loss was almost identical for both groups - nearly 12 kg for group one and 10 kg for group two. (26 pounds for group one and 22 pounds for group two) .

The other study was conducted by Cheryl Rock of the Moores Cancer Center in California and use the JENNY CRAIG WEIGHT LOSS method and products. This was a two year trial of weight loss and just as importantly, the ability to keep the weight off over a two year period among 442 overweight or obese women who's ages ranged from 18 to 69 years old. Their body mass index was 25 or higher. The normal range for women is 18.5 to 24.9.

The women in the study received in-person or telephone counseling and free, pre-packaged Jenny Craig foods plus a weight loss exercise plan involving exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes each time. By the end of the study, more than HALF OF THE OVERWEIGHT WOMEN had lost at least 5 percent of their body fat, compared with 29 percent of a control group.

The studies showed that a behavior-based approach can result in significant weight loss that actually stays off, and that exercise does play an important part in the whole process as well. It also helps to have a financial incentive plus some form of counseling or support.

Also any type of exercise works for weight loss as long as it's conducted regularly and at a certain level of intensity but the best types of exercise are as follows:


Any exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing. Endurance exercise build up your stamina and helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. This includes swimming, walking, dancing, cycling.


This builds up muscle and helps to prevent osteoporosis and other bone-thining. Strength training helps raise your metabolism, which can help you burn fat quicker, plus helps control blood sugar. Strength exercises include weightlifting, bicycling, bowling and hiking


These exercises help you move, helps to improve posture and balance and helps to reduce the risk of injuries. It doesn't burn as many calories as aerobic exercise but it's still a very useful part of an overall exercise program. Flexibility exercises includes gymnastics, stretching, yoga and ballet


Good balance keeps your nervous system in balance and helps with back pain and improve posture. Balance activities include basketball, tennis, squash, racketball and other court sports, dancing, martial arts and yoga