Why this simple diet switch holds the key to weight loss
Quality not quantity
But don't go trading your car in for an expensive "high quality" meal of caviar, that's not what the study published in JAMA prescribes, apparently it's all about switching out low quality processed foods for high quality whole foods. Which is a game-changer for super hungry dieters subsisting on very small portions of highly processed 'diet' foods.
Previously mainstream weight loss wisdom has been that to lose weight you need to burn off more calories than you take in, meaning you need to eat a low-calorie diet and increase exercise. Another theory that's gained traction in weight loss circles is the role genetics plays in diet and how each person's body responds to different foods. However, this new study undertaken at Stanford University says these two theories might be incorrect.
The study posed the following questions: "what is the effect of a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet on weight change at 12 months" and "are these effects related to genotype pattern (individual genetic make-up) or insulin secretion?"
To answer these questions 609 "overweight adult" volunteers were recruited to participate in the study and were put on either a healthy low-fat (HLF) or healthy low-carbohydrate (HLC) diet. All participants - whether they were on the HLF or HLC - switched out highly processed, sugary and unhealthy foods for a diet filled with healthy whole foods specifically lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy unprocessed foods.
And the results were surprising - but also make a lot of sense. The study found that both groups when they ate better quality, healthier, unprocessed whole foods lost weight regardless of which diet they were on. And neither genes or 'insulin secretion' played a significant role.
Which is great news for anyone keen to lose weight but not keen on being eternally hungry while slimming down - the usual situation on a low-calorie (i.e. hardly any food) diet. The research suggests that as long as you're eating healthy whole foods you can eat a normal amount of food and still lose weight.
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