IN THE 1995 comedy “Heavyweights,” an obese teenage boy named Gerry is sent to a weight-loss camp. When a psycho trainer tries to coerce the kids into doing punishing workouts, the campers imprison him and then gorge on junk food. Clearly, such ferocious weight-loss efforts backfire big time — and not just in the movies.

Drs. Oz Roizen sig

Research published in JAMA shows that from 1999 to 2016 an ever-increasing number of Americans 40 to 65 were trying to lose weight (up from 34% to 42% of the population). Ironically, at the same time, their weight was going up, not down, from a BMI of 30.5 (obese) to 31.9 (more obese). Holy frustration!

Clearly, whatever folks are doing to lose weight isn’t working (reduce calorie intake, exercise and drinking a lot of water were the top three techniques reported). So what should you try?

• Go for a lifestyle change, not a sensory deprivation experience. Don’t go cold-turkey with unhealthy habits. Give up a bad-for-you food every couple of weeks — no processed meats (bye-bye pepperoni) or no added sugars (so long sodas), for example. Replace a bad habit with a healthy habit. Instead of an after-dinner snack do an after-dinner walk.

• No extremely low calorie diets. Stick with around 2,000-2,300 calories a day with the right nutritional components. Eat 75% of your daily calories before 3 p.m.

• Move more. Get a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily.

• Chew bites well. Research finds that chewing for longer helps you eat less overall.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020