By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TVBy Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – There are so many diets out there and many can be hard to follow, but local researchers have found a simple way to lose weight without all of the fuss. Dr. Mallika Marshall tells us about a new diet that gets results.

The American Heart Association (AHA) diet is highly regarded as effective and healthy, but it can be complicated with lots of goals and targets for things like total calories, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and sodium.

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In a new study, researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School wanted to simplify things for dieters and give them one goal to aim for…eating 30 grams of fiber a day.

Participants were told to load up on legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and they didn’t have to restrict where their other calories came from.

The researchers found that people on the high-fiber diet did almost as well in terms of weight loss as those following the AHA Diet.

“By telling people to eat more of something,” says Sherry Pagono, a clinical psychologist at UMass Medical School, “They were able to lose a little bit of weight,” she adds. “Most diets will tell you what you shouldn’t be eating and restrict all kinds of things, and with this one we just said eat a whole bunch of fiber and people lost weight.”

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The dieters on the high-fiber diet also did just as well in terms of lower blood pressure and improved blood sugar levels as people following the AHA diet.

Binge Watching

Another study from the University of Texas at Austin found that people who are a lonely or depressed are more likely to engage in “binge watching”, defined as watching two more episodes of a TV show in rapid success.

The researchers are not suggesting that binge watching causes depression but noticed an association.

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Perhaps the take-home message is that if you find that you frequently spend hours upon hours watching episodes of a television program in a row, you may be filling an emotional void and should seek help.

Dr. Mallika Marshall