How often have we been instructed on counting calories as the way to loose weight. The idea of loosing weight by eating fewer calories and increasing your physical activity makes sense. The problem is when you eat even smaller amounts of the wrong food, your body will be stimulated to store energy instead of burn in. A recent study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association has concluded food quality more important than food quantity in loosing weight.
I actually read about this study in the New York Times this February 2018 which included quotations from the studies author which aides in the understanding of this paper.
The researchers divided 609 obese people into two treatment groups; one who were told to eat a low fat diet and another group instructed to eat a low carb diet. Both groups were instructed to not eat processed foods, soft drinks, foods with added sugar, or foods with refined grains. The low fat group was told to eat foods like lean meats, lentils, brown rice, barley, quinoa, fresh fruits, legumes, and low fat dairy products. The low carb group was trained to eat foods like salmon, avocados, hard cheeses, nuts, seeds, nut butters, vegetables, meats from animals who were grass fed. Both groups showed almost the same loss of weight in the twelve month period the participants were under the study.
This study indicates that counting caloric intake matters less than what we eat. Eating healthy foods and avoiding processed foods, foods with added sugars, refined grains will result in our bodies being able to function better. Another interesting point of the study is that both groups ended up consuming less calories even though they were unaware of it because they were focused on what they ate not how much of it. The lead author of the study was quoted as saying; “I think one place we go wrong is telling people to figure out how many calories they eat and then telling them to cut back on 500 calories, which makes them miserable,” he said. “We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”
Dr. Gardner the lead author also noted that he people in this study who lost the most weight reported that the study had “changed their relationship with food.” They no longer ate in their cars or in front of their television screens, and they were cooking more at home and sitting down to eat dinner with their families, for example. Real lifestyle changes not just adherence to a diet. This is what it takes to live healthy. Get yourself set on a healthy lifestyle and live it for the rest of your life.