The new best-selling book “Super Crunchers” offers convincing proof that sometimes the best and most accurate predictions about successful outcomes can come from asking the simplest, most basic questions.

In one example, the answers to three simple questions asked at a hospital emergency room consistently predicted outcomes and success in treating heart attack patients better than the most complicated, involved and detailed opinions of experienced surgeons.

Sometimes I think it might be the same with weight loss. With all the hugely complicated theories about protein, carbs, raw foods, fats, meal timing, nutrient partitioning, etc, maybe it’s time to revisit just a few simple strategies that seem to predict success as well- or better- than any of the more complicated approaches (my own included!)

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control demonstrates that following just three simple rules vastly increases your chance of keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

Researchers sent out a questionnaire to US adults aged 18 or older and analyzed data on just four variables:
1) number of daily fruit and vegetable servings,
2) minutes per week of physical activity,
3) dining out behavior and
4) confidence in one’s own ability to successfully follow healthy behavioral strategies.

Here’s what they found: Eating at fast-food restaurants- even as few as two times per week- was associated with significantly less success in weight maintenance. And adults who consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a week and racked up 150 minutes a week of activity were more successful at keeping weight off than sedentary folks who ate less than 5 servings of vegetables and fruits.

The take home point here is that the combined approach of staying out of fast-food restaurants, consuming five or more fruit and vegetable servings per day and attaining 150 minutes (or more) of some kind of physical activity was a common successful strategy among those keeping weight off.

That’s a strategy that’s doable, health supporting and—obviously-- eminently successful. And not in the least complicated.

Author's Bio: 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is the author of "the Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth as well as two other best selling books. A board certified nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, he is a featured health writer on America Online and was the Weight Loss Coach for for ten years. A popular and dynamic speaker, he has been contributed material to over 50 national publications and appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC as a nutrition, weight loss and health expert. Dr. Bowden is Self-Growth's Official Guide for Nutrition. For more info, free newsletter and free audio courses, please visit him at

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