By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – So many people have so many theories. Each and every one of them believes they have the best possible way to lose weight. Usually what they all have in common is some sort of trick or technique or dramatic way to burn those pounds. But no matter what the diet says or what tricks they seem to use, it all comes down to the same concept. You need to burn more calories than you take in.

I’m a big fan of exercise and there is no doubt that exercise can help burn calories but if you look at the numbers and measure the calories, you will see that cutting back on the amount of food you eat and reducing those calories can have a dramatic effect.

You don’t need a special book, diet plan or gimmick. All you need to do is take careful stock of the foods you are eating. You can drive yourself crazy measuring out the calories one by one, but if you keep your portions small and avoid overdoing it with the carbohydrates and calorie laden desserts, you’ll be surprised how simple it can be.

Remember this as well, the hardest part of the diet is usually the first two weeks. If you can get past that initial change it becomes easier.

One last point. Make sure that you pick a diet plan that you can sustain over the long run. It feels great to lose weight but if you can keep the diet going you will find yourself back to where you started and even worse before you know it.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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