Most of us have one or another type of fitness goal that we want to achieve by the end of the year, right? For some of us, this goal is to get a six-pack while for others, it’s to increase muscle mass percentage and reduce subcutaneous fat.
If you are like me and seek to get rid of the extra flab or tire around your gut, you have been told for years that you should eat a diet that has fewer calories than the amount you burn via exercise and daily routine. Many have followed this calorie counting diet with mixed results. However, now, there is a new report from the researchers at Stanford University that states that what you eat is more important than how much you eat when it comes to losing weight effectively.
This study analyzed the diets of over 600 participants who were overweight and told to not focus on cutting calories from their diet but to make better diet decisions when eating. The participants were educated on better food habits, including buying fresh veggies from farmers markets and better cooking practices.
The results came out with 12 pounds being an average weight loss over a year with the range was between losing 60 pounds to gaining 15. The participants ended up losing an average of 500 calories a day in choosing better food choices without counting calories.
Why Should You Not Count Calories?
Well, if you have been on a successful diet while counting calories and wondering why this study is telling you to stop counting, the answer is simple. Not all calories are the same, and it is more important to understand which foods are digested and processed by the body more efficiently while providing you with high-quality energy and satiety.
When you eat processed foods like sugar and unhealthy fats, your body struggles with digesting the food while storing more of the food in your gut as excess fat. Instead, if you at fewer processed foods while including fresh veggies, fruits, minimally processed whole grains, and beans in your diet, the weight loss you will experience will be significantly more effective.
Do Gene Makeup And Insulin Resistance Affect Weight Loss?
We have been told over time that our genetic makeup plays a significant role in weight loss since it can be the deciding factor in how our body processes carbs and fats. This would mean that one type of diet can be more effective on a person than the other. Unfortunately, this study found that the genetics didn’t affect the weight loss results.
This was the same for insulin resistance which was tested throughout the study. Christopher Gardner, the lead author of the study, stated that “precision medicine is not as important as eating mindfully [while] getting rid of packaged, processed food.”
So, What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight?
This study can end up confusing a lot of people in how to lose weight. According to the experts, if you want to lose weight efficiently, you should alter your diet to one with fewer starches and processed foods while increasing your fresh fruit and veggie intake.
It’s true that only calorie counting will not help with weight loss, it’s more important to know which source the calories are from. Eating healthy foods will always triumph over controlling how much you are eating. Food that causes you to become full quickly can also help with weight loss as you naturally end up eating less.