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While there is always plenty of talk about urban obesity, new research shows that sisters are bucking the trend.

Researchers at Boston University’s School of Medicine studied the habits of 18,000 African-American women who lived in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. After six years of observations, researchers concluded that African-American women who live in more densely populated urban areas gain less weight than those in more auto-friendly areas.

The results of the study aren’t that hard to explain. For women in densely populated areas, walking and taking public transportation helps to keep them active everyday. But what does that mean for women in the ‘burbs? How can suburban sisters avoid carrying more pounds and keep them off?

  1. Keep in touch with the scale: Research shows that checking your weight regularly can help you reinforce healthy eating and fitness habits as you see the needle move more and more to the left. Don’t obsess, but definitely keep it on you mind.
  2. Eat lean protein: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that women with protein heavy diets are more likely to keep of the pounds. Load up on the lean proteins like fish and turkey, but avoid fatty cuts of red meats as much as possible.
  3. Go green: The food pyramid never lied. Sticking with 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help the pounds from creeping back on. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who ate the recommended serving of greens were 60% more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Sweat it out: There’s no avoiding it–if you want to lose weight you gotta sweat. Women who commit to 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week were twice as able to keep off the weight. But don’t just make it a walk in the park- research suggest a vigorous workout- one that you can’t hold a convo through is best. So flirt some other time. When you’re getting in your cardio give it your all.
  5. Avoid dining out: This is probably the hardest thing for girls living outside city limits. With chain dining options and social events, it’s easy to pack on the calories and not even notice. You can have a great time out, but if you do try to eat in first. Feeling full will allow you to make a healthy choice first and better ones when the menu is plopped in front of you.

Clutchettes, give us your take- does being a city girl make weight loss truly easier or can you stay fit in the burbs as well? Share your thoughts and tips as well!

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  • PrettyGirlSwag

    very true! when i lived in NYC i was about 20lbs lighter than I am now…i walked EVERYWHERE! now…i drive. smh.

  • Alexandra

    I live in NYC and I would agree. It’s hard to use your car in certain places. And plus with trains that take you where you want in half the time, who wants to drive?
    It also depends on the person. You can still find people who can’t lose weight.

    Dog walkers/owners have an advantage too:
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/forget-the-treadmill-get-a-dog/?partner=rss&emc=rss

  • Mrenee

    Great read! I’ve live in Manhattan for the last 3 years and have lost over 60 pounds since moving here. I have now maintained my weight loss for over a year. The trick is walking on purpose. I use to also eat out a lot, however, most of my meals are now prepared at home and as the article said, stick to lean proteins and leafy greens!

  • Me27

    I can believe it. I was in NYC a about a week and a half ago and its amazing how much walking you do. I think my friends and I easily walked 15 blocks without even thinking about it (it was such a nice day we decided to forego the train and walk from our hotel to a restaurant for dinner).

    The first tip (Keep in touch with the scale) is a great tip! I used to avoid weighing myself just because i didn’t want to become one of those people obsessed with constantly knowing my weight. But I’ve learned (the hard-way) that weighing myself regularly is best. Its so easy to pick up weight when you aren’t checking your it on a regular basis (especially if you have a desk job like me and you find yourself sitting all the time)