If you’re looking for ways to lose weight or are currently on a weight loss diet, then, “reduce calories” or “reduce portion size,” is standard advice everywhere. But a new study changes this completely.
A recent study published on the JAMA (the Journal of American Medical Association) network says that it doesn’t matter how much you eat, it’s what you eat that counts. The study found that people who cut down on refined sugar, highly processed foods and refined grains and consumed plenty of fruits and vegetables without cutting portion sizes, lost a lot of weight over a year.
This worked irrespective of them following low fat or low carb diets. Interestingly, it was also found that their success did not depend on their genetics, which puts a question mark on an idea that suggests that people should be recommended particular diets depending on their genetic makeup.
Researchers recruited several adults for this study and split them into two groups, one called ‘healthy low carb’ and the other, ‘healthy low fat.’ The members of both groups were trained to eat nutrient-dense, minimally processed home-cooked food.
Soft drinks, fruit juices, white rice, white bread etc. are foods low in fat, but the low-fat groups were asked to avoid these and eat foods like brown rice, barley, steel cut oats etc. The low-carb group was asked to consume foods like salmon, nut butters, avocados and grass-fed pasture-raised animal foods.
The participants were asked to maintain minimum levels of physical activity as suggested by US federal guidelines but they generally did not increase their exercise. They were also not told how much to eat. The only emphasis was to eat whole and ‘real’ foods as much as required to not feel hungry.
At the end of the study, participants lost weight on an average. Of course, there were some who gained some weight and some others who lost several pounds, but most participants admitted that the exercise “changed their relationship with food.”
Here are some very healthy Indian grains and good fat-rich foods that have been long buried under the avalanche of fad diets:
So the next time, just go whole and healthy and eat to your heart’s content!
Disclaimer: This article was originally published in NYtimes
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