Around here, we’ve always preached quality not quantity when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. If you’ve been reading Healthier Talk for a while, you’ve heard it many times before.
And now a new study has confirmed what we knew all along.
When you cut back on added sugar, highly processed foods and highly refined grains, you can eat until you’re full without obsessing about portion size.
In fact, eating lots of delicious veggies and fresh whole foods will lead to effortless weight loss.
And while we still encourage you to cut back on simple carbs and not worry so much about healthy fats, researchers say both low fat and low carb eating will shrink your belly.
In other words, the only thing you really need to do to lose weight, and keep it off forever, is to make the switch to lots of fresh veggies and whole foods.
Counting calories is OUT and healthy eating is IN
Okay, so it’s no surprise that processed foods—which are packed with added sugars and refined flours—are making us fat and unhealthy.
But most diet information still leans heavily on calorie cutting advice and this new research, published in JAMA, might FINALLY help turn the tide.
Researchers divided the volunteers into two groups for the study. Group one ate a healthy, low carb diet. And group two ate a healthy low fat diet.
Everyone attended classes with a dietitian to learn to eat nutrient dense, fresh, whole foods. And both groups were encouraged to fix more meals at home and eat high quality foods rather than packaged diet foods.
The dietitian taught the folks in the low fat group to avoid the very same “low fat” foods we’ve advised you to stop eating (or limit) too, including…
- white rice
- white bread
- soft drinks
- fruit juice
Instead, they were encouraged to fill up on healthier fare such as fresh fruit, legumes, steel cut oats, lentils, lean meats, low fat dairy, brown rice and barley.
Meanwhile the low carb group was introduced to a number of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, grass fed meats and salmon.
(Sound familiar? Maybe those researchers are reading Healthier Talk too!)
Both the “dieters” and the researchers were stunned by the results.
Shed weight and get healthy without counting calories
The volunteers were encouraged to continue to get at least the minimum amount of recommended physical activity. But they didn’t increase their exercise.
And yet the average “dieter,” regardless of which group they were in, lost weight by the end of the year. In fact, some folks dropped as much as 60 pounds.
The “dieters” in the low carb group dropped over 13 pounds each on average. And the folks in the low fat group shed an average of 11.7 pounds.
But even more importantly, both groups saw other major health benefits. For example for many folks…
- blood sugar levels plummeted
- blood pressure normalized
- body fat dropped
- waist size shrunk
And those kinds of changes slash your risk for diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
It’s time to stop counting calories and obsessing over portion size. The key to losing weight, and keeping it off forever, is to drop the simple carbs, refined starches, added sugars and highly processed foods.
Replace them with healthy fats, complex carbs and fresh whole foods you fix yourself and you’ll shrink your belly and avoid many of the worst diseases of aging too.