Still think a calorie is just a calorie? Think again!
Not ALL calories are created equal, and while it’s an easy way for people to track their weight loss, the QUALITY of your calories has much more to do with success than how many you’re eating.
1200 calories of pizza, beer and candy? Not the same as 1200 calories of hummus, spinach and lean chicken. Nutritionally, the latter is better for you: more vitamins, minerals and good stuff for your body to use. But it’s also processed more efficiently by the body: more of the calories get used, burned and can fuel your metabolism giving you an edge all day. Plus, the more fiber, veggies and lean protein you have in your diet, the less chemicals your body needs to dispense to break it down: less hormones released, fewer sugar crashes, and less fat storage.
A new study has given more insight into which ‘diets’ may be best for weight loss (and by diet, I don’t mean restriction, but rather overall diet). They compared a low fat diet, a low carb diet and a low glycemic index diet. All participants followed their eating plans over a period of time, and then were measured for caloric output and weight loss.
Those on a low FAT diet burned the least.
Those on a low CARB diet had the fastest initial effect… but had the lowest retention rate. It also raised the risk of heart problems in participants.
Those on a low glycemic index diet burned steady amounts with almost no adverse effects. It was also easier for participants to maintain over time. While the ultra low carb, Atkins-like diet had the greatest initial effect, it also had the lowest, long-term retention rate. On top of that, it increased the risk of heart problems.
Very interesting stuff!
The takeaways: those of you focused on low fat options may do well to add more fat into your diet: you need fat to burn fat (avocados, olive oil, nuts). While low carb diets are FAST, they tend to do poorly overtime: consider going halfsies and exploring complex carbohydrates to add into your diet (grains, beans, legumes). And EVERYONE would do better by eliminating processed, sugary and chemical foods.
Read more via The New York Times.