Studies related to weight loss are always being released, especially as researchers try to figure out what the keys to weight loss really are, as well as what weight loss treatments are the best and safest. But which studies have been the most promising and interesting for anyone who wants to shed any amount of weight? Learn about a few of them below.
A Study on Fasting
There has been quite a bit of talk lately about intermittent fasting as a means to lose extra pounds in a safe and healthy way. This method of fasting is not as intimidating as what you might imagine because you can avoid eating anywhere from 12 to 16 hours each day, or you could even fast once or twice a week. In other words, you aren’t going very long stretches without eating.
A study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tracked individuals who had been following a typical calorie restricting diet and those who fasted every other day. The individuals who restricted their calorie intake ate 25% of their usual calories daily. Those who fasted ate 25% of their normal caloric intake on their fasting days and 125% of their calorie intake on the non-fasting days. The researchers followed these participants for a year, along with a control group, and at the end of the study, what they found was that both groups lost roughly the same amount of weight.
What makes this study interesting is the fact that it’s the longest and biggest one of its kind. And it proves that, if restricting calories hasn’t been working for you, intermittent fasting might be a great alternative that you can try.
A Study on Taking Breaks
Another study that was published in Nature’s International Journal of Obesity found that taking two weeks off from your diet may help you lose more weight than if you stuck with your diet full-time. And this strategy might even help you keep the weight off for longer too.
During the study, 51 obese men were split up into two groups, the first of which followed a diet that was strict and required the individuals to reduce their calorie intake by 1/3 for three-and-a-half months. The other group was to follow the same diet, but they would end up taking a break from it every two weeks. During the break, they would eat enough calories to fulfill their energy requirements. And they would follow this diet plan for seven months.
The results? Those who took breaks lost a whopping 47% more weight and were able to keep more of it from coming back.
A Study on Plant Protein
By now, it should be common knowledge that you don’t need animal products to get protein. But how beneficial is plant protein? Well, researchers conducted a study that was published in Food Nutrition Research.
Researchers fed a total of 43 men three breakfasts. One consisted of protein from legumes, another consisted of protein from pork and veal, and a final breakfast had lower protein from legumes.
The results: those who consumed the higher protein legume patty, which contains a combination of protein and fiber, felt fuller and ate up to 105 fewer calories for lunch. So when it comes to plant protein, you can get what your muscles need, and you get the added benefit of fiber for weight loss.
A Study on the Foods You Eat
Experts at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health decided to figure out if there are certain foods that will be more likely to cause weight gain or help you lose weight. Their goal was to find out if a calorie really is just a calorie, regardless of what food you are getting it from, or if lower quality foods play a bigger role in weight gain.
What the researchers found after studying more than 120,000 healthy men and woman over the course of 20 years is that weight change is strongly associated with the quality of the foods that you eat. So if you are eating a lot of drinks that are sweetened with sugar, or if you are eating a lot of potatoes and potato chips, as well as unprocessed end processed red meats, you are more likely to gain weight and find it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Forget about counting calories; count the quality of the foods you eat!
The conclusion: eating a lot of refined grains, sugars, fats, and starches boosts weight gain. Weight loss, however, can be achieved by lowering your calorie intake by eating more high quality foods like whole grains, veggies, fruits, yogurt, and nuts.
More Studies to Come
These are just a few of the recent studies involving dieting and weight loss. They have been able to shed some light on the reality of weight loss and weight maintenance, as they show that not all diets are created equal, and not all diets will work for everyone. It will be exciting to see what else researchers learn from future studies in the field of dieting and weight management.