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The No. 1 Key to Losing Weight Is...
...diet. While exercise is good for your overall health, it won't help you lose weight. To shed those pounds, you have to eat less, reports London's Guardian newspaper of an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that points an accusatory finger at food and soft drink companies for wrongly saying that physical activity can help prevent obesity.

Look in your grocery cart. Fully 60 percent of the calories come from one type of food. Stop buying this, and you might lose weight.

The truth: Exercise does help lower the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and type 2 diabetes, but it "does not promote weight loss," insists cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra. The blame for our expanding waistlines rests solely with our diet--that is, the type and amount of calories consumed. Obesity is not caused by lack of exercise.

The false perception: Malhotra likens claims made by the food and soft drink industry's public relations machinery to the tactics used by those of big tobacco: "denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives."

We gain weight because we consume too many carbohydrates and too much sugar--and, of course, too many calories. "Our calorie laden diets now generate more ill health than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined," Malhotra and two colleagues write in the British Journal of Sports.

"Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger," the write. "Fat calories induce fullness or satiation." They blame food marketers for misleading the public with the message that all calories count equally.

The bottom line: "You cannot outrun a bad diet," insists Malhotra.

Find out five popular weight loss strategies that are doomed to fail.

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