The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds
Are you worried that you are not seeing the results of your weight-loss efforts? Perhaps, this new study holds the answer to why all the efforts you are putting into losing some pounds are not working. The research has some answers you would never expect.
All your life, you have been told that you need to cut back on calories if you want to lose weight. This has come to be accepted as the norm in the weight loss industry. In fact, most weight loss diets and plans will usually tell you to count calories.
A Weight Loss Study in Overweight
Shockingly, this new research which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) is saying quite the opposite. According to the findings from this research, it was discovered that individuals who reduce the number of refined grains, added sugar, and highly processed foods while concentrating on consuming more vegetables and whole foods without worrying too much about limiting portion sizes or counting calories lost a significant amount of weight during the one under study.
According to the study, the group of people that adopted the strategy explained above noticed a positive result. They followed a diet that is mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates without putting emphasis on calories counting. The success of their diet doesn’t seem to be influenced by their genetics or their insulin-response to carbohydrates. Thus, their result cast a serious doubt on the previous idea that people should be recommended a specific diet based on their DNA makeup.
In essence, what this research showed is that the diet quality and not the quantity is what will help you to lose weight and manage your weight in the long run. In the same way, the result suggested that those in the position of the authority should put more focus on persuading people to eat less processed foods which are made with refined starches and added sugars such as white bread, bagels, sugary beverages, and snacks. Unfortunately, the norm at the moment is counting calories. With the result of this research, doctors need to stop putting emphasis on counting calories but on the quality of the food.
Dr. Mozaffarian, an important member of this new study noted that the result of this research is a roadmap to reducing the epidemic of obesity in the developed nations especially the United States. He recommended that US national policies should quit focusing on calories and counting calories.
The result of this important study was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). The research was led by Christopher D. Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. The group got more than $8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Nutrition Science Initiative, as well as from other groups. The research was long and the trial was carried on more than 600 people.
To ensure they have the right result, the group designed the study to find out how people who are considered obese and people that are overweight would respond to low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. However, during the studies, the group also tested the hypothesis that some people are genetically predisposed to respond better to a diet than other people. This hypothesis is becoming increasingly popular in the recent years and a lot of services have capitalized on it to offer people looking to lose weight a personalized nutrition advice designed to their genotypes.
To obtain a result – this group of researchers employed adults from the Bay Area. These adults were split into two diet groups called “healthy low carbs” and “healthy low fat”. The participants were required to attend classes with dietitians. These dietitians trained them to eat nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods, cooked at home whenever possible.
The low-fat group was required to avoid some foods which are known to be low in fat such as muffins, fruit juice, soft drinks, white rice, and white bread. Instead, there were told to eat foods such as barley, brown rice, lentils, steel-cut oats, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fresh fruit, quinoa, and legumes.
In the same hand, the participants in the low-carb group were trained to eat nutritious foods such as avocados, salmon, olive oil, vegetables, hard cheeses, nuts, seeds, nut butter, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.
Similarly, all the participants were asked to ensure they meet the federal guidelines for physical activity. However, they were not obligated to increase their level of exercise. During classes with dietitians, they discussed food and behavioral strategies with the dietitian in order to support their dietary changes.
According to Dr. Gardner, this research is extremely unique and very different from other weight-loss trials. This is because it did not set extremely restrictive carbohydrate, fat or caloric limits on the participants. Moreover, the researchers emphasized the focus on eating whole or “real” foods as much as needed to avoid getting hungry. The doctor also noted that they did not set a number for them to follow.
It is widely known that most people who lose weight usually regain what they lose. However, this new study cannot establish if the participants will be able to sustain the new habits they learned from participating in the study. Most of the participants lost a significant amount of weight while some gained weight. However, the result showed that most of them lost as much as 50 to 60 pounds.
According to Dr. Gardner, these people that lost weight as a result of this study reported that the study has changed their relationship with food. According to them, they are now more mindful of what they are eating. Most of them reported that they are no more eating in their cars or in front of their television screens. They also reported that they are now cooking more at home and sitting down to eat dinner with the members of their families.
According to Dr. Gardner, the result of this new study showed that “Diet Quality is important for both weight control and long-term well-being”. However, it is important to note that the result is not saying that calories do not matter. Instead, what the study is saying is that less emphasis should be put on counting calories and more emphasis put on increasing the quality of your diets.
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