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Secret to Weight Loss - Eat Fewer Calories

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

One diet promises your body will turn into a fat burning furnace, another claims it will make you slim while you sleep and another fill your head with ideas that you will never be hungry again. We are all seeking the secret to weight loss success.  We are all expecting a difficult and complicated regime or equation.

In actual fact the secret is quite simple. Scientists have recently found that it is all a matter of consuming fewer calories. It doesn’t matter what diet you are on or how many carbs you eat in relation to fat or protein.

After testing several different healthy diets with different ratios of carbohydrates, protein and fat, a recent extensive study by New England Journal of Medicine found that the 800 participants lost a similar amount of weight on them, despite different food group compositions.

Participants in this study focused on whole grains, fruits and vegetables and swapped saturated fat for the unsaturated fats. While all diets contained a similar amount of calories, the way the diets differed was in protein, carbohydrates and fats. For example, a high protein diet incorporated higher quantities of lean meats such as chicken and fish and in the case of higher fat diets, more healthy mono and polyunsaturated oils such as olive oils were used.

 All in one, it made not much of a difference what diet the participants were on as they all had similar weight loss results. After six months, the average weight loss was around 6 kg. Long term weight loss was maintained at around a 4 kg loss.

So it seems it really doesn’t matter what diet you are on, according to the results of this study consuming fewer calories is what really counts. It makes perfect sense really, eating a healthy diet that is heart friendly e.g. eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, reducing saturated fats and eating lean protein in a way that works for each individual, while watching potion sizes and calorie intake, is the key to weight loss. This way, individuals can work their diet around their individual lifestyle and preferences, which increases compliance and embracing it as a way of life, rather than stressing out about how much carbohydrates, protein or fat we should eat.

Contrary, this is not to put an end to all other diets. The key is what works for the individual. If eating a high protein, low carb meal replacement shake diet is what works for someone, by keeping them fuller and noting weight loss, then it is a short term weight loss solution for them. Sticking to a diet plan is the most difficult task, as has been seen with this diet. Furthermore, the weight isn’t kept off and put back on after 2 years.

From these studies it is clear that motivation, preferences and flexibility are the key to healthy eating, and this is more likely if it fits around the individual’s way of life and becomes part of it.


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